A buy-to-let landlord who claimed that he needed a council home has been ordered to pay back more than £48,000 or face being jailed.
Gavin Lescott, 41, was in the process of acquiring an investment property in Slough with his brother when he applied to be placed on the council housing register in 2006.
He was offered a council tenancy in Woodford Way, Britwell, which he accepted, despite the fact that he had just purchased a house in Northern Road, Manor Park, SL2, as an investment property and it was leased to tenants.
Reading Crown Court heard that Lescott also did not declare that he owned a property when he applied for benefits in 2017.
The rogue landlord was ordered to pay £48,408 after he admitted three offences under the Fraud Act 2006 for making false representations and failing to disclose information he was legally obliged to disclose.
He has to repay the money by October 25 or face 18 months in prison for non-payment. He was also ordered to pay full council prosecution costs of £6,816 at a Proceeds of Crime Act hearing.
Lescott was handed a 12-month prison sentence, suspended for 18 months, when he was sentenced for the offences.
Lescott, who agreed to move out of the house in Woodford Way in June, was also ordered to complete 100 hours of unpaid work and 10 days of rehabilitation.
Cllr Mohammed Nazir, cabinet member for housing and community safety, commented: “We will not tolerate those individuals who seek to defraud the local taxpayer.
“Social and council housing is there to provide much needed homes for our residents, not to generate illicit profits for dishonest tenants.
“The council will continue to take tough action against those unscrupulous individuals who seek to deny vulnerable families a roof over their heads.
“We will always push for the harshest punishments where we find people defrauding not just the council but the children, families and hard-working residents on our housing register.”
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