19 Aug 2016

Man sublet Ilford flat in social housing fraud

A man who featured in the Ilford Recorder three years ago for waiting 11 years for a council flat has been found guilty for illegally subletting it.

Richard Kagumya, 33, from Woodford Green, was found guilty on two counts of fraud and one count of subletting a social housing property at Barkingside Magistrates’ Court on August 5.

In May 2013 the Recorder ran a story about Mr Kagumya’s 11 year wait for a council home.

Genesis Housing subsequently let a one bed property in Heron Mews, Ilford, to Mr Kagumya in June 2013 for a social rent of £400 a month and he began subletting the flat for double that price in February the following year.

As a result, Mr Kagumya, who was also in receipt of housing benefit, made a profit of £7,000 from the rent and benefit payments before the fraud was detected in October 2014.

Genesis tenancy fraud officer Michael Evans said: “Prior to his conviction Mr Kagumya had genuinely been in need of affordable housing. He had previously approached Redbridge Council and even brought his case to the attention of local newspapers as he felt that the social housing scheme had failed him. Mr Kagumya failed to declare to us and Redbridge Council that his circumstances had changed. Instead he chose instead to illegally rent the property and live elsewhere. There is a desperate shortage of affordable housing in the UK and with so many people and families on the waiting list it really is not fair when someone abuses the system in this way.”

A Redbridge Council spokesman added: “This case is another example that shows if you commit fraud in Redbridge, you will be caught and punished. Fraud has a negative impact on all our residents, as it takes money away from vital frontline services provided to people who really need them."

After several years!

Mr Kagumya was given a community order of 100 hours of unpaid work in the next 12 months as well as being ordered to pay £1,979.38 and £5,057.44 to Redbridge Council and Genesis Housing respectively.

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