London Landlord Jailed For Illegal Letting

Acting as a landlord can be highly lucrative but there are also many risks and challenges to face in the rental sector. Many new landlords have been left surprised at the volume of administrative tasks they have to complete and with the number of regulatory issues that they must comply with. There is an increasing number of penalties and punishments that may be imposed on landlords who fail to comply with industry standards, but there are also some acts that are punishable because they are crimes.

An example of this comes with the news that a person has been jailed for a year because they were illegally subletting a council home. What makes the story even more interesting is that the guilty person is a housing officer. Julia Miah received a one-year prison sentence and has been instructed to pay £200,000 in compensation and £3,174 in costs. This comes on the back of Julia admitting that she never stayed in the two-bed council home in East Finchley, instead she sublet it to one of her family members.

The fraud ran for over a decade

The fraud dates to 2007 when Miah was provided with the keys to the property, located in Prospect Ring. The housing officer passed the keys to a relative while she moved into property in Luton, which she had jointly inherited. This deception lasted for more than a decade with Miah claiming that she lived in the East Finchley property. However, a tip-off provided to the Corporate Anti-Fraud Team, the CAFT, in Barnet led to an investigation into the property.

When Miah was interviewed under caution, she admitted that she had never resided in the property and agreed to pass over the keys to the property. In Harrow Crown Court, Miah admitted to three counts of fraud and she was sentenced on February the 9th. While there will be some people perhaps taken back by the level of punishment, there is no doubt that the punishment was made with the hope of sending out a message to anyone else committing this style of crime or who may contemplate it.

Landlords must be aware of all regulations in their sector

The dire need for property in the modern day means that this is a crime that can have an enormous impact on people’s lives, particularly in London. The fact that the guilty party was a housing officer no doubt adds an edge to the story but overall, there is a need to focus on landlords in general.

There is an increasing level of focus being placed on landlords, their conduct and eligibility to serve in this role. While there is an additional element to this crime, and it was carried out over a decade, there is a need for landlords to realise that misconduct in this sector could be punished severely.

At Unico Property Group, we aim to provide the best standard of support and guidance to landlords and tenants. We know the rental market in London poses many challenges, and we are here to help you navigate this market. If you want assistance from a leading company in the London rental sector, prominent in the East of London, get in touch and we will be happy to help.


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