Richmond Housing Partnership (RHP) has taken a strong stance against sub-letting and evicted one of its tenants for abusing the social housing system.

RHP worked alongside Richmond Council and fraud investigators HJK Associates to follow up a lead about sub-letting at one of its Mortlake properties, after neighbours said they had not seen the legal tenant for more than a year.

The affordable home provider’s antisocial behaviour adviser, Andrew Nowakowski, said it was important to take a stand against sub-letting.

He said: “Our initial investigations indicate that there is little evidence of a sub-letting fraud hotspot in the borough, but our partnership with Richmond Council and HJK Associates has equipped our employees with up-to-date techniques to tackle housing fraud.

“We want to make sure the people who live in our homes are those who need them most.”

After following up the lead, HJK established the flat had been advertised by the tenant as available to let privately, and sub-let to a third party.

Once sufficient evidence was gathered, the tenant was served with a notice seeking possession and RHP recovered the property within four weeks.

Councillor Nicola Urquhart, Richmond’s cabinet member for adult services, health and housing said it was important to target people who cheated the system, to make way for those who genuinely need housing.

RHP has set up a hotline for people concerned housing fraud is happening in their area. Call 03303 308208 or 020 8891 7839.

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