Court orders a tenant to pay over £3,000 for social housing fraud

A mother-of-two who illegally sublet her flat has been convicted of social housing fraud and slapped with over £3,000 in fines and legal costs.

Racheal Panda Noah pleaded guilty on 22 August at Willesden Magistrates Court to letting out her property in Pinemartin Close, Cricklewood between 15 October 2013 and 22 March 2017 - reports brent.gov.uk.

During this period, Ms Panda Noah was taking rent from a relative at roughly the same amount that she was paying to her landlord, London and Quadrant.

But the tenancy agreement that Ms Panda Noah signed in 1995 stated that she had to use the flat as her main home, and that she needed to obtain written permission from her landlord if she wanted to sublet it.

Ms Panda Noah lives with her partner and two children, aged 10 and four, in Hazelbank Road, Hither Green in South East London.

District Judge Brennan said Ms Panda Noah's actions had denied Brent Council the ability to give the flat to someone who was genuinely entitled to it. She was fined £500 on top of an unlawful profit order of £1,170 and £1,350 in legal costs.

Cllr Harbi Farah, Cabinet Minister for Housing and Welfare Reform, said: "People who play the social housing system for their own profit are depriving those with a genuine housing need. We are in a housing crisis where the waiting list for a three-bedroom council flat is 14 years."

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