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Kensington and Chelsea council tenant who sublet his property as a small HMO has tenancy terminated

Wednesday, July 27, 2022 - Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea

Kensington & Chelsea council tenant loses homes after illegally subletting the property

Investigations by Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea have uncovered tenancy fraud by the tenant of a one-bedroom council flat in Ladbroke Grove, W10.

After the tenant submitted a Right to Buy application, an unannounced visit by council officers revealed three sub-tenants living there. Each of the sub-tenants were paying £850 per month in cash to the council tenant who had falsely led them to believe he owned the property.

Evidence gathered by the council for the resulting court case showed the tenant hadn’t lived at the property for several years and had been renting it out for £2,550 per calendar month.

Had the tenant’s Right to Buy application been successful and his illegal sublet not been uncovered, he would have been able to purchase a property worth over £300,000 with a £100,000 discount.

The property has since been recovered and will be relet to one of the 3,000 applicants on the council’s housing waiting list.

Cllr Kim-Taylor Smith, Lead Member for Housing, Royal Borough Kensington & Chelsea:

With a chronic shortage of housing across London, we need to make sure it’s going to those who are genuinely eligible and in need of a home.

Our team checks all applications and acts on intelligence and when fraudulent applications are discovered, we act quickly to recover those properties and give them to individuals and families on our housing waiting list.

I would urge anyone with information on tenancy fraud, or who suspects a property is being illegally sublet, to report what they know as soon as possible.

Three further properties have been recovered following verification checks on succession applications after it was found the individuals applying to take over the tenancy from their family members were not eligible.

A nephew attempted to succeed the tenancy of a one-bedroom flat on Clydesdale Road, W11, but checks revealed he had lied on his application form and had never previously lived with the tenant prior to their passing and instead lived with his wife and children in Barnet. 

A daughter made an application to succeed the tenancy of a two-bedroom property on Powis Square, W11, following the unfortunate passing of her mother but she had in fact not lived in the property since 2007 and was living in Ipswich in a property owned by her partner.

An individual contacted the Council to apply for his wife to be a joint tenant at a three-bedroom property on Wiltshire Close, SW3, but checks showed he wasn’t actually the listed tenant. When questioned about this, the man said he lived with the tenant but further checks revealed the actual tenant had lived in Turkey since 2020.

Our free guide with information about property licensing and HMO planning rules in the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea is available here.

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