Social Housing Fraud
Landlords are increasingly vulnerable to prosecution for Housing Fraud. At Moss & Co we are well placed to defend you as we are both Housing Law experts and Criminal Law experts.
Our solicitors will do all they can to defend you if you are accused or under investigation for unlawful subletting or any other breach of the regulations.
The Prevention of Social Housing Fraud Act 2013
Moss & Co have extensive experience defending repossession cases from social landlords who claim that properties have been unlawfully sublet. This new act adds a new dimension. If it’s a council or Housing Association then a criminal conviction and huge financial penalty could be at stake.
What you need to know
- The act creates a new criminal offence of sub-letting, with a maximum sentence of 2 years imprisonment and an unlimited fine
- It gives the courts power to confiscate any profit landlords have made from sub-letting. These are called Unlawful Profit Orders.
- It makes it compulsory for banks and utility companies to provide information to local authorities. So they will be able to find out if there are any bank accounts associated with the property and who pays the gas, electric and water bills.
- Local authorities have been given funding of over £9m to investigate and prosecute
Local Authorities have always been keen to stop subletting of their properties. Doing so has often been an expensive and difficult task. This new act makes it much easier for the councils and housing associations to remove unwanted sub tenants. It provides them with a big bonus as well. The council or landlord will receive all the money from any confiscation orders.
Let’s look at a simple example where a flat has been sublet for 3 years. The council finds out and brings a successful prosecution:
Council rent £95 a week, Sub letting rent £250 a week so the weekly profit is £155 a week. There would be an order for payment of: £24,180 in addition to any other sentence.
So we expect the cash strapped councils to take full advantage of the funds provided for investigation and prosecution.
So if you are under investigation, awaiting Interview, worried about your position or have been charged or summonsed you should contact us now. We are Housing Law and Criminal law experts and that is what these cases are all about.
- Have been charged under the Prevention of Social Housing Fraud Act 2013
- Are being investigated and await interview
- Have sublet your Council or Housing Association property and need advice
- Have an Investiagtion for Housing Fraud