An investigation carried out on behalf of Selby District Council has led to the council’s first prosecution for illegal subletting under social housing legislation.
A man living in York previously held a council tenancy in Tadcaster between 2011 and 2017. An anonymous referral was received by the council that he had been unlawfully subletting his council property after moving to York in 2015.
The investigation found that the man had been managing a guest house in York from September 2015 and had signed a tenancy for an alternative address in the city. Evidence showed he was subletting his council property and receiving rental income from this.
He pleaded guilty to one charge of unlawful subletting under the Prevention of Social Housing Fraud Act 2013 on Tuesday 17 December 2019 at York Magistrates’ Court. This is the first time that Selby District Council has used this legislation to prosecute illegal subletting.
In sentencing, the court issued total fines of £1,460. This included court costs and a victim surcharge.
Councillor Chris Pearson, Selby District Council’s Lead Executive Member for Housing, Health & Culture, said: “Fraud of this kind deprives families who are in need of a home. This case sends an important message – that we will take action to ensure our housing stock is used for those who need it the most.”
Anyone with information on fraudulent activity is encouraged to phone the anonymous fraud hotline on 0800 9179 247 or email firstname.lastname@example.org