9 Aug 2017

Man fined for false homeless claim

A less usual type of social housing fraud

A Lingfield man has been ordered to pay £1,864 after he made a false claim that one of his relatives was homeless to help them get a home in Mole Valley. (h/t Tenancyfraud)

Ian Day was sentenced at Guildford Magistrates' Court on Wednesday, July 26 after he was found to have provided information to Mole Valley District Council's Housing Team which was not true. It was discovered that Day had provided information which helped a relative of his have a homeless application accepted.

The 58-year-old claimed his relative had been homeless for almost two years, when in fact he was living in a property in East Grinstead, in West Sussex.

Day had falsely maintained he was the tenant of the East Grinstead home, but after Mole Valley District Council carried out an investigation, it appeared it was his relative who was the tenant and not Day. If the correct information had been supplied, his relative would never have been registered as homeless or deemed to be in need of accommodation.

Councillor Corinna Osborne-Patterson, who is Mole Valley District Council's executive member for communities, services and housing, said: "Social housing is a limited resource, and it is important that the any offers of accommodation are made to those in genuine need. When applying for accommodation, it is important that people provide honest and truthful information. Failure to do so could be an offence and legal action may be taken.

"As shown in this case, Mole Valley District Council will take legal action against those who it believes have misled or lied in any way in relation to a housing application whether it is the applicant or those supporting them."

After the relative left the property, it was found to have sustained damage and they owed "significant rent arrears and costs".

When sentenced, Day was ordered to pay a fine of £1,320. He was also told to pay Mole Valley District Council's court costs, of £500, as well as a victim surcharge fee of £44.


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