The flat at Colne House was illegally sublet (credit: Google Maps)
Jonathan Green had obtained a two-bedroom council flat at Colne House in 2019 but was discovered to be living in Leeds.
Barking and Dagenham Council officers initially received information that Green wasn’t living at the allocated property in January 2020.
The tenant was tracked in West Yorkshire where it was discovered he’d unlawfully secured alternative accommodation with Wakefield District Council.
In an interview under caution, Green admitted that he’d never moved into his allocated council property.
In Barkingside Magistrates Court on Tuesday, 18 January, Mr Green pleaded guilty to one offence under the Prevention of Social Housing Fraud Act 2013 and two offences under the Fraud Act 2006.
Green was sentenced to a 12-month Community Order of 200 hours of unpaid work, given a £2,800 unlawful profit order, ordered to pay costs of £800 to Barking and Dagenham Council and a £95 Victim Surcharge, totalling £3,695.
Deputy Leader and Cabinet Finance, Performance and Core Services, Councillor Dominic Twomey, said: “Council housing stock is in short supply, it is not a right and we have people and families that really need support from us to provide them with a home.
“This individual’s actions have not only prevented someone else from having a home to live in, but he has also illegally earned money out of it.
“This is something that we take very seriously and if we find out someone is doing it; we will find them and take appropriate action – no matter how long it takes”.
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