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24 Nov 2016

Poor legal process in sub-letting case

A council tenant in Kensal Rise has been ordered to pay back almost £10,000 and has placed under a curfew for illegally subletting his flat.

Harry Lambert rented out the one-bedroom property on the open market for three years while he lived at another address in Willesden.

The 38-year-old was caught when his tenants allowed a gas engineer carrying out works on behalf of Brent Housing Partnership into the flat and an investigation was launched.

Last week he admitted dishonestly sub-letting his council property under the Prevention of Social Housing Fraud Act 2013 and was sentenced to a 12-week curfew between 12 noon and 12 midnight each weekend.

A very light punishment for an offence carried on over three years.

An unlawful profit order totalling £9,276 was made which he must pay back to the council and also pay the costs of bringing the case to court.

Civil action is now underway to evict him so that the property can be returned back to Brent Council.

So not only a light sentence, a clunky legal process.

Cllr Harbi Farah, Brent Council’s cabinet member for housing, said:

“Brent Council is absolutely committed to tackling housing fraud. With council properties in such high demand, it is completely unacceptable that some individuals are trying to break the law for personal gain. This successful prosecution of a council tenant who illegally sublet his home to private tenants - shows how seriously we take these offences.”

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