A TENANT who illegally sub-let his Council flat has been convicted of fraud after a successful prosecution.
Victor Carrington, formerly of Granville Road, pleaded guilty to two counts of fraud at Reading Magistrates Court on Friday (Nov 10). He was fined a total of £743, with an additional £600 in costs awarded to the Council. The property has now been let to another Council tenant.
The fraud investigation followed a tip-off from concerned residents back in November 2016. Victor Carrington had been a Council tenant since 2005, but after leaving the address he sub-let the property to his friend. He did not inform the Council that he was no longer living at the address.
Using banking and CCTV evidence, the investigation spanned a 17-month period, running between November 7th 2015 and June 7th 2017. When housing officers arranged to visit the property, Victor Carrington ensured he was available to see them and completed false statements confirming he still lived at the address. He also failed to disclose that someone else was living at the flat.
The property was returned to Reading Borough Council in June 2017 and has now been re let.
Victor Carrington, now living at Lowfield Road, Caversham, entered guilty pleas to two charges at Reading Magistrates Court on Friday November 10th, which were Prevention of Social Housing Fraud and Fraud Act 2006.
Reading Borough Council Leader Jo Lovelock said:
“There has never been more demand for social housing and the Council has duty to ensure social homes are available to those that need them.
“This prosecution shows the Council will not tolerate tenancy fraud. The Council will investigate all cases robustly, and where offences are uncovered take the necessary legal action to recover the property.”
If anyone has suspicions that any form of tenancy fraud is taking place, they can report this anonymously via the Reading Borough Council website http://www.reading.gov.uk/fraud or by calling 0118 937 2143.