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Fraudsters thwarted by councils in London to the tune of £73 million

30th July 2015

Fraud in London has increased by 46% since last year, a new study has found. Commissioned by the London boroughs’ fraud investigators group, ‘Protecting the London public purse’ has uncovered  £73 million of fraud against London local authorities. The report, a first of its kind finds: While the number of fraud cases councils are dealing with has decreased by about 10%, the value of those cases has increased dramatically, by 46% London boroughs recovered 1,618 properties f...

Abusive tenant receives injunction order

28th July 2015

An abusive tenant who threatened housing workers has been hit with an injunction. Salix Homes, which owns 8,500 homes across central Salford, sought legal action against Aaron Marshall, of Fitzwarren Court, Pendleton, on the grounds of his aggressive and threatening behaviour towards members of staff. Marshall, aged 29, made threats to members of Salix Homes’ 1st Response 24-hour security team during an incident at Fitzwarren Court tower block on April 26. A trial was due to take place at Man...

Report: Criminal landlords are not being brought to justice

24th July 2015

Generation Rent is calling on ministers to use the forthcoming Housing Bill to give tenants the right to back out of an agreement with a convicted landlord. The call follows the publication by Environmental Health News of all landlord convictions under the Housing Act, following a legal battle with the Ministry of Justice to release the data. Only 2,006 landlords have been convicted, when Citizens Advice estimate that there are 740,000 unsafe homes in the private rented sector. The tiny number of l...

Sheffield uses new legislation to protect both landlords and tenants

20th July 2015

Sheffield City Council is believed to be the first authority outside London to use new legislation designed to boost the rights of millions of people living in rented accommodation. In the last six weeks it has fined 11 letting agents a total of £37,000 for failing to comply with legislation introduced last October. Under the new laws, letting and property management agents need to register with one of three redress schemes, which were set up to resolve problems between tenants and letting agen...

BBC to broadcast series on housing fraud

17th July 2015

Frontline housing officers on a mission to clampdown on tenancy fraud in north London will next week (w/c 20th July) feature in Council House Crackdown, a new BBC One series which follows local authority and housing association housing fraud investigation teams across the country as they crack down on council house fraud.  Circle Housing Circle 33’s neighbourhood team were filmed as they fought to rescue properties that were being sublet unlawfully. Karen Ayling, head of housing for...

Two homes taken away from housing fraudster

10th July 2015

A woman who tried to illegally grab herself a second council home has lost both homes and been fined £800. Evelyn Asirifi of Ruislip Road, Greenford, was sentenced at Ealing Magistrate's Court after pleading guilty to two accounts of housing fraud. Despite already having a council tenancy in Southwark, Mrs Asirifi also applied to Ealing Council for social housing.  She claimed that her private rented accommodation in Greenford, where she lived with her husband and three children, was ov...

Islington launches Youth Crime Strategy

10th July 2015

Islington Council is to adopt a new Youth Crime Strategy to tackle a rise in violent youth crime in the borough. Islington, like other areas of London, has seen an increase in youth crime in the past year.  The new strategy, which has been drawn up in partnership with Islington Police, lays out an action plan to tackle youth crime.  Key points include:   • A dedicated gangs team A new, dedicated gangs team will bring together police, the youth offending service, probat...

Birmingham landlord fined for putting tenants’ lives at risk

7th July 2015

A well-known local landlord pleaded guilty at Birmingham magistrates court on 6 July 2015 for failing to apply for a house in multiple occupation (HMO) licence and of breaching regulations. Amrik Singh Gill, 56, of Vernon Avenue in Handsworth Wood was fined a total of £19,418.57, comprising of: failing to obtain an HMO licence (£3,000), multiple breaches of the HMO management regulations (£8,000), costs (£8,298.57) and victim surcharge (£120). When officers inspected the property, th...

Islington shopkeeper fined for selling knives to underage boy

2nd July 2015

Islington Council has criticised the leniency of a £500 fine given to a shopkeeper who sold a 17-year-old boy knives that he used minutes later to stab a man seven times. In a prosecution led by Islington Council Trading Standards, Salman Capti, 26, of Warley Street, E2, was convicted of selling two knives to an underage person at City Supermarket in Goswell Road, as well as breaching his licence conditions by having inadequate CCTV in the shop. After finding the defendant guilty of both o...

Right to rent immigration checks ‘unworkable’

25th June 2015

Landlords and letting agents lack the necessary know-how and training to enforce right to rent immigration checks, a leading London property firm has warned, as it condemned proposed sanctions as ‘disproportionate’. Right to rent checks were introduced towards the end of the coalition government, to help combat concerns landlords were harbouring illegal immigrants in their properties. Those who fail to verify the immigration status of their tenants face fines of up to £5,000. The scheme has been ...