A private landlord in Scunthorpe has been prosecuted for tenancy fraud and ordered to pay back more than £30,000 after deceptively claiming a need to live in council housing.
Kandappillai Jenopan, aged 40, was provided accommodation by Royal Greenwich in May 2009 at a flat in Dabin Crescent, Greenwich, after claiming that he was residing in an overcrowded property with his family.
But officers from the borough’s internal audit and anti-fraud team later discovered that Jenopan owned and let out four residential properties in Scunthorpe at the time he obtained the council tenancy at Dabin Crescent and that he failed to declare his ownership of these properties.
The case went all the way to the Crown Court where Jenopan was given a 20 month prison sentence, suspended for two years and was ordered to undertake 120 hours of unpaid work in the community.
Councillor Maureen O’Mara, cabinet member for customer services, told the press: “Royal Borough investigators now have far greater powers to investigate tenancy fraud and to get properties back for those in genuine need of accommodation.
“This case shows that if you think that handing back the property will spare you from prosecution, then you should think again. Tenancy fraud is a serious matter; we will prosecute you and pursue you for our financial losses. Mr Jenopan now has a criminal record for fraud and has to repay over £30,000 to the Royal Borough.”