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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 69516
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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Leeds housing causes me of tenancy fraud but Im not claiming

Customer Question

Leeds housing causes me of tenancy fraud but I'm not claiming anything and brother lives with me I helped son buy a house some years ago
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Hi.

Thank you for your question. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will try to help with this.

How can I help with this please?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi Jo. Leeds city council have said I've committed tenancy fraud I'm under investigation at present it's all come about as I've tried to put my brothers name on tenancy. And several years ago I helped my son but a property we have given council utility bills and bank statements as requested and they have done a home assessment visit today to check the flat
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi Jo. Leeds city council have said I've committed tenancy fraud I'm under investigation at present it's all come about as I've tried to put my brothers name on tenancy. And several years ago I helped my son but a property we have given council utility bills and bank statements as requested and they have done a home assessment visit today to check the flat
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Yes, I have read the facts above.

What would you like to know about this?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
What can they so to me I've not claimed anything I wS homeless at the time and I did help son buy a house
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Is the allegation that you do not live there?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Yes but I do stay 1/2 nights a week
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
That will be the issue.

Did you inform them that you were staying elsewhere?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
No.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
That is a problem Im afraid.

If you got this property on the basis that you were homeless then its all very well that you were homeless at the time but the requirement is that you live in it.

If you are not living at a property provided in these circumstances then that needs to be declared.

Its always possible to argue over what 'living means'. Within the meaning of most DWP investigations it just means sharing expenses so staying for a very small number of nights might be adequate. However, here the emphasis is upon the provision of housing and I suspect, in truth, that one to two nights a week would suggest it isn't your main residence.

I am very sorry but I can only give you truthful information.

Can I clarify anything for you?

Jo
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
So what can they do go me now if it goes to court or is there a way to stop it going to court
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
How long have you had this house?

I suppose you are on housing benefit?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
July 2009. No no benefits at all
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
How long is it since you have not been living there permanently??
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Since jan 2014
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
.

Okay.

That isn't to bad. It's not all that long ago.

They could prosecute you for fraud but given that this has only been going on for four to five months I'm not sure they would.

The difficulty here is that they cannot just ask for a repayment of any overpayment because its not that type of fraud though.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I'm not sure myself what the issue is but have asked many time to change tenancy agreement over to my brother gave them all proof they needed then now saying investigating me for fraud but never claimed any benefits or reductions paid our way so upset thought of court and if it did I'd loose my job. Scared to death thought of word fraud. What should we do please
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
The issue is that they are saying you were not living there and you didn't declare it.

Its probably best to do nothing. Their allegation is accurate so you cannot disprove it.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 69516
Experience: Over 5 years in practice
Jo C. and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
But if they brought a case. What can I do. What could they do
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
They could prosecute you for fraud.

I'm not sure you have any defence at the moment except possibly the argument that you were not acting dishonestly.

If they accept this has only been going on since January then its not a huge fraud so probably wouldn't lead to custody.

I'm happy to continue with this but please remember to leave feedback for my answer.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Sorry just stressed out. Feel like I'm a criminal and I'm not
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Yes, I know. Its horrible when they investigate things like this.

It might all disappear into nothing.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.

No problem and all the best.

Remember that I am always available to help with your questions. Even if I am in Court I will usually pick up a question within 12 hours. For future information, please start your question with ‘For Jo C’. You can also bookmark my profile http://www.justanswer.co.uk/law/expert-remus2004/

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