A man from Willenhall who attempted to buy a council flat in Wolverhampton has been ordered to hand the property back to Wolverhampton City Council – and pay £3,000 in costs after a court found that he was sub-letting the flat to others.

Mr Jagdish Singh, aged 45 from Tobruck Walk in Willenhall was at Walsall County Court on 12th November after an investigation by fraud experts at Wolverhampton Homes claimed that he tried to buy the flat– despite illegally sub-letting it.

Mr Singh had been a Wolverhampton Homes tenant at a property in Rooker Avenue in Parkfields and in 2013 made an application to buy the house from the council under the Right To Buy legislation.

But Mr Singh’s mortgage application stated he’d lived in an address in Willenhall for the past seven years.

Wolverhampton Homes’ fraud team launched an investigation. In interviews, Mr Singh denied any wrongdoing, but further investigations found that he’d been illegally sub-letting the council property to other people.

The court found Mr Singh was in breach of ground 1 of Schedule 2 to the Housing Act 1985 and ordered that the property in Rooker Avenue be handed back to the council and that Mr Singh pay costs of more than £3,000.

Mark Henderson, Director of Housing at Wolverhampton Homes said:

Tenancy fraud is illegal; it’s not fair on others and is something which we take very seriously. We’re pleased that the court has dealt with this and we’re looking forward to welcoming new tenants into the property.”

Anyone who suspects someone of committing tenancy fraud can report it online, anonymously at www.wolverhamptonhomes.org.uk.

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