Crawley Borough Council has for the first time successfully prosecuted a resident who tried to fraudulently obtain a council home.
Abdul Kalam, 37, of Vanners, Northgate, submitted an application form to the council to be housed in March 2013. Applicants are required by law to complete the form truthfully and accurately.
Concerns were raised that Kalam made a false housing application by failing to declare his true circumstances; in particular he was a previous property owner and failed to declare his true address history.
He pleaded not guilty at Horsham Magistrates’ Court on 30 October 2013 to making a false statement and a trial was subsequently set for last week.
Kalam was found guilty on March 6 at Horsham Magistrates’ Court of making a false statement to the council. He was ordered to pay Crawley Borough Council £730 in fines and costs.
He has also been removed from the housing register due to false information being supplied.
Cllr Richard Burrett, cabinet member for housing, said: “Council housing is at a premium in Crawley so we must ensure that it is used to house people with the highest need.
“This case demonstrates the good work of the council’s Fraud Team and shows that we thoroughly investigate housing applications to ensure that our housing is allocated to those who need it the most.”
Anyone who thinks they know someone who has made a false application to be housed, not living at their council property or claiming benefits fraudulently can call the council free and in confidence 24 hours a day on 0800 634 0180 or email firstname.lastname@example.org