Statcounter

30 Aug 2018

Light sentence for illegal subletting

A homeless woman who was given a Derby Homes property has been dealt with in court after being caught sub-letting it to another family.

"Selfish" Marinela Langenbucher was given the property in October 2016 after becoming homeless in July 2016.

But she later illegally sub-let the home to a friend and moved to Shropshire with her family from August 2017.

Langenbucher's scheme started to come to an end when somebody phoned Derby City Council querying the council tax charge for the property.

The authority's counter fraud team was brought in and investigated and found Langenbucher had moved to Shropshire and had been sub-letting the property out which was a breach of her tenancy agreement.

She was interviewed under caution by the counter fraud specialists for failing to notify Derby Homes of the change.

She was summoned to a hearing at Southern Derbyshire Magistrates' Court on Thursday, August 2. She pleaded guilty to an offence under the Prevention of Social Housing Fraud Act 2013.

She was handed a £168 fine and ordered to pay £150 in costs and a £30 victim surcharge. Derby Homes has recovered the home, which is now being occupied by another family.

The city council said Langenbucher did not make a financial gain from the scheme but, by allowing her friend to live at the property, she has deprived another person or family who would be entitled to social housing accommodation.

Councillor Roy Webb, cabinet member for adults, health and housing at Derby City Council, is now urging people to blow the whistle on any residents they suspect are illegally sub letting their council property.

He said: “When social housing is in demand and we have waiting lists for accommodation this behaviour is selfish. Not only are people on our waiting lists being denied much needed homes but sub tenants are being put at risk of losing what they believe is their home. If we suspect that our properties are being sub-let, we will investigate and will prosecute if we have the evidence. I would encourage residents to use Derby Homes whistleblowing process if they suspect a property is being sub-let.”

Source

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