Enfield Council is working to recover properties from fraudsters to ensure that people in genuine housing need can be given a suitable home.
In the last financial year the Council’s fraud investigation team recovered a total of 59 Council properties which were being occupied by people with no right to reside in them.
By taking back these properties the Council will save approximately £850,000 a year – the cost of keeping 59 families in expensive temporary accommodation while the same number of Council homes are occupied unlawfully.
A number of other cases are still under investigation. The Council is also urging residents to help free up more homes in the borough by reporting people suspected of committing housing fraud.
In common with many other parts of London, Enfield has a shortage of council homes and high numbers of people waiting for more suitable accommodation - the Council needs to make sure that only the people entitled to housing in the borough are given Council tenancies.
Enfield Council’s Cabinet Member for Housing, Cllr Dino Lemonides, said: “We don’t want people to make a profit by lying about their entitlement to a Council property and preventing a family in genuine need from being given a home.
“This authority takes housing fraud very seriously and we will fully investigate every report of illegal subletting and tenancies obtained by deception. It is completely unfair that residents in desperate need of housing cannot have a home because unscrupulous individuals want to make a fast buck.”
In the most serious cases people who illegally sublet their property or got a tenancy by deception can be prosecuted and face a prison sentence if found guilty.