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Ordered to pay costs for subletting a property

We have taken action against a former resident for unlawfully sub-letting their rented property.

The resident, a businessman from Surrey, who also owned another property, was sub-letting our property, and charging £900 per month rent to the sub-tenants, whilst paying us the £450 rent.

After we became suspicious, we involved Surrey Heath Borough Council who investigated and the sub-let was discovered.

The resident returned the keys and surrendered the property, but we decided to pursue them for the profit they have unlawfully made. Through a consent order agreed by the courts, the resident agreed to re-pay over £5,000.

Regional Housing Director Robert Mills said: “Tenancy fraud is a serious matter, and illegally sub-letting can deprive someone else of a much needed home. Social housing is a valuable asset, and it is important that we make best use of the limited housing we have in Surrey Heath. Working in partnership with Surrey Heath Council was critical in this case, and we are grateful for their support and assistance in securing this successful outcome.

We hope this sends a strong message to any other residents ho are illegally sub-letting their housing association or council property. It is their neighbours who are often well placed to notice anything unusual and, if anyone has any suspicions about who is living in a property, they should report it to us or their local council.“

Laura James, Principal Solicitor at Surrey Heath Borough Council, said: “Our legal team and fraud investigators have worked together with Accent in this, the first of such joint-working ventures. We are pleased to have provided assistance which has resulted in the recovery of money to which the residents were not entitled. Both the council and Accent have supported a Surrey-wide advertising campaign to raise awareness of fraud in the housing sector and this case demonstrates to the public that the legal powers available will be used against those who seek to profit from those who do not have access to social housing.”