A man from Willesden has been found guilty of illegally sub-letting his Brent Housing Partnership flat by Brent Magistrates Court on 15 November. Mr Harry Lambert (38) was not present for a gas check and the illegal sub-tenants allowed a gas engineer into the one-bedroom council property in Chamberlayne Mansions, Kensal Rise.
Mr Lambert pleaded guilty to the offence, of dishonestly sub-letting his council property under the Prevention of Social Housing Fraud Act 2013. Mr Lambert was sentenced to a twelve week curfew between 12 noon and 12 midnight each weekend and an unlawful profit order totalling £9, 276 will be paid to Brent Council. Mr Lambert was also ordered to pay the costs of bringing the case to court.
The case was investigated and brought to court by Brent Council's Investigation Team who obtained evidence to show that Mr Lambert had been unlawfully subletting the property for the past three years. Civil action is now underway to evict Mr Lambert so that the property is available for the many people in housing need in Brent.
Councillor Harbi Farah, Cabinet Member for Housing, said:
"Brent Council is absolutely committed to tackling housing fraud. With council properties in such high demand, it is completely unacceptable that some individuals are trying to break the law for personal gain.
"This successful prosecution of a council tenant who illegally sublet his home to private tenants - shows how seriously we take these offences. A fine of almost £10,000 and a 12-week curfew order sends the clear message that Brent Council has a zero-tolerance approach to this kind of fraud.
"The council property can now be offered back to local residents who genuinely need it."