ESTATE AGENT AND COUNCIL TENANT PROSECUTED OVER HOUSING FRAUD / FLY-TIPPERS PROSECUTED IN COURT / BOTTLE OF BECKS WHICH COST TRADER ALMOST £3,000
A 59 year old Brixton woman has been prosecuted by Lambeth council for subletting the flat that she rents from the council. A London Bridge estate agents were also prosecuted for aiding and abetting the commission of the offence.
The woman tenant returned to Portugal in December 2014 and asked the estate agents to rent out the property on her behalf.
Letting agents are required to check whether the person renting out a property is entitled to do so, but in this case failed to do so and the property was rented out from December 2014 until September 2015.
Lambeth investigators received an anonymous referral in late July 2015 indicating that the woman hadn’t been seen at the property for several months.
Following an investigation and visit to the property in August 2015, sub-tenants were found there and confirmed they were paying rent at a significantly higher level than that charged by Lambeth council.
On 29 March 2016 the woman entered guilty pleas to two charges under the Prevention of Social Housing Fraud Act 2013 and was ordered to pay Lambeth costs of £816.00 and an unlawful profit order of £6,547.44, based on the profit she made in renting out the property.
The estate agents pleaded guilty to one offence and were fined £1,000 and ordered to pay costs of £847.00. (Source: Lambeth council press release.)
FLY-TIPPERS PROSECUTED IN COURT
Fly-tipping and littering on the borough’s streets landed another 10 people with fines and court convictions under the council’s ongoing Don’t Mess With Croydon -Take Pride campaign.
Croydon magistrates ordered the 10 defendants to pay a total of £2,100 for offences ranging from fly-tipping local businesses’ waste to dumping household rubbish and littering cigarettes.
The council says it has now successfully prosecuted 90 people since launching the Don’t Mess campaign, which combines enforcement with encouraging over 280 locals to lead community litter picks.
Tuesday’s fines and offences were as follows:
Six people were fined between £150 and £450 for fly-tipping either household or business waste – five cases of which involved leaving bags on pavements.
Four people were fined between £100 and £150 for dropping a cigarette on the pavement.
Any resident or business found to have fly-tipped or used an unlicensed waste carrier faces unlimited fines and a possible court conviction.
For more information on how to get involved in the Don’t Mess With Croydon – Take Pride campaign, please visit the Croydon council website.
You can also report dumped waste via the council’s dedicated fly-tipping hotline on 0208 604 7000, the council’s My Croydon smartphone app or by emailing [email protected] (Source: Croydon council press release)
BOTTLE OF BECKS WHICH COST TRADER ALMOST £3,000
The profit made on a single bottle of Becks beer was wiped out, many times over, for a Thornton Heath shopkeeper when he was fined for selling alcohol to two under-age customers.
Pleading guilty at Croydon magistrates court the licence holder was fined £325 and ordered to pay £2,529.50 in costs, and a £33 victim surcharge, totalling £2,887.50.
The court heard that, as part of a test-purchasing exercise, a boy and girl, aged 14, went into the store on 25 September, selected the bottle of beer from the shopfloor display, and took it to the counter.
Taking the money, the sales assistant failed to ask for proof of the customers’ age, and the purchase went through. That sale cost the assistant an £80 fixed-penalty notice at the time of the offence.
The test-purchasing exercise was organised by Croydon council’s trading standards department, and the youngsters were accompanied by a TS officer who witnessed the sale
As the premises licence holder, with responsibility for the actions of his staff, the shopkeeper was liable for the offence. (Source: Croydon council press release)