Housing cheat caught out

A West London businessman who claimed he was homeless to gain temporary accommodation in Tower Hamlets whilst secretly living at his family home, was taken to court last week.

On Thursday, September 15 at Clerkenwell and Shoreditch County Court, Tower Hamlets Council successfully obtained a possession order against Abdul Ali, of Maybank Gardens, Middlesex, for a property on Crowder Street, Wapping. A money judgement was also issued with Ali forced to pay £3,491.40.

The council investigated Ali following a tip off that he was not living at the Crowder Street property, but was in fact subletting it. Officers were able to confirm that he was living with his family in Pinner where he also ran a restaurant.

Colin Cormack, Service Head, Housing Options, Tower Hamlets Council, said: “Mr Ali lied to the council and claimed to be homeless in order to access temporary accommodation. He took accommodation that we use to help honest people who desperately needed a place to live.

“The council works hard to get residents into appropriate housing and this is undermined when people act illegally to sub-let a property that would otherwise have been allocated to a family that really needed it.

“This case shows that we will go to great lengths to catch anyone who tries to cheat the system.”

The property at Crowder Street will be re-allocated.

To report housing cheats call the council free on 0800 528 0294 or email anti-fraud@towerhamlets.gov.uk.

September 22, 2011