Tenancy fraud brought to justice



A fraudulent tenant who sublet her council home has been handed a community punishment order and ordered to pay back over £800.


Jade Nicholls, of Croppings Park, Telford, pleaded guilty to a sublet offence under the Prevention of Social Housing Fraud Act 2013 at Cardiff Magistrates' Court where she received a 12-month Community Punishment Order with 40 hours unpaid work and was ordered to pay an unlawful profit order of £807.48 as well as £100 costs.


Ms Nicholls was granted a Council tenancy, and signed an agreement to confirm she understood she was not allowed to sublet all of her property and that she must use it as her main home.


Despite this, she advertised the property as a private rental and sublet the whole of the property under a false tenancy agreement to an unknowing sub-letee who paid a £600 deposit and £600 a month to live there between January and March 2016.


The Council's housing team were made aware of the sublet and an eight-month investigation was carried out by the Council's corporate fraud team gathering intelligence and evidence, culminating in the matter being brought before the court.


The property that was illegally sublet has since been recovered by the authority and allocated to another individual in need of social housing.


Cabinet Member for Housing and Communities, Cllr Lynda Thorne, said: "At a time of increasingly high demand for social housing in the city, and with more than 8,000 people on the housing waiting list, this case of tenancy fraud is extremely frustrating.


"Thankfully our housing and investigations team have achieved a positive result and this case should send a warning to anyone who is thinking of subletting all of their property. This isn't allowed under our tenancy agreements.


"Unfortunately, the person who unknowingly sublet from Ms Nicholls is now a victim of this unlawful sublet and lost their deposit. We're keen to work with tenants and anyone else with information on suspected misuse of tenancies to ensure our homes are allocated to the people who need them most in the city."


The Council operates a Tenancy Cheats hotline to encourage reporting of any inappropriate use of Council homes.

Anyone who knows someone who has sublet a whole property, sold the keys to someone else, abandoned the property or given false information to get a council home, can report it using an online form at or by calling  029 2087 3500 (24 hours a day).

Reports can be made anonymously and the Council will investigate. The Council also carries out random checks at properties, asking for confirmation of identification to help crack down on tenancy cheats.