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6 Apr 2017

Suspended sentence for illegal sub-letting

A council tenant who illegally sublet her house has been given a suspended prison sentence. (h/t Tenancy Fraud)

Lisa McDermott made a profit of nearly £16,500 during a two-year period by leasing out her property in Earl's Court .

She had moved out of the home in July 2013 after buying a property with her husband in Battersea.

McDermott, was given a nine-month prison sentence suspended for two years.

She had failed to declare that she was no longer living at Hunter House in Old Brompton Road , having purchased a new home in Wynter Street, Battersea in July 2013.

The 37-year-old sublet her Kensington and Chelsea property until March 2015, when the deception was uncovered during a visit from the local authority’s Tenant Management Organisation (TMO) , who alerted the council’s fraud team. It was established that McDermott was no longer resident at the property and instead another family was living at the address.

The court also heard that during this period she had paid the Royal borough rental income totalling £12,849, but sublet the sublet income received from the family totalled £29,295 - a profit of £16,446.

McDermott had pleaded guilty to dishonestly failing to disclose not using the property as a main and principal home and subletting contrary to Section 1 and 3 of the Fraud Act 2006 at an earlier court hearing.

In sentencing McDermott, the judge, Mr Recorder M Chawla QC, stated in his view the offence was so serious a community order would not itself be appropriate and crossed the threshold of custody. In mitigation he said the defendant was of previous good character and gave her credit for the early guilty plea.

At her sentencing at Southwark Crown Court on Friday (March 31) she was also ordered to complete a rehabilitation requirement programme within the next year. A Proceeds of Crime confiscation hearing has also set up a timetable to recover the money taken.

Source

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