A former council tenant has received a £10K fine and suspended prison sentence after being found guilty of housing fraud. The conviction follows a two-year investigation by Haringey Council’s Audit and Counter-Fraud Team.

The individual in question became a secure tenant at a council property in Farrant Avenue N22 in 2002. But when she vacated the home to live at a property she had purchased in Enfield in 2014, she failed to inform the council – even though the terms of her secure tenancy required her to do so.

When questioned under caution by council officers, she denied the charges and insisted that she continued to use the address at Farrant Avenue as her main and principal home, despite being presented with conclusive evidence collected by the Audit and Counter-Fraud Team that she had vacated the property to live elsewhere.

She eventually pleaded guilty to the offence at Wood Green Crown Court on 12 January 2023, where she was found guilty of offences contrary to section 3 of the Fraud Act 2006.

In summing up the Judge said: “This offence is so serious that only a custodial sentence can be justified.” In sentencing, the Judge took into consideration the fact that the defendant had not contested the matter at trial and that she was the sole carer for her 11-year-old daughter. Accordingly, the Judge imposed a 13-month custodial sentence, suspended for 18 months. She was also ordered to pay back £10k to Haringey Council towards compensation.

Cllr Dana Carlin, Cabinet Member for Housing Services, Private Renters and Planning, said:

“We are currently in the midst of a housing crisis which has left thousands of families in Haringey waiting for a council home. These families are the true victims of crimes like this, which is why we will not tolerate housing fraud in Haringey.

“This case demonstrates how seriously we take this issue. I applaud our Audit and Counter-Fraud team for their thorough investigation, and the judge for imposing a significant sentence. I hope this makes others think twice before committing similar offences in future

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