The lovely, smiling Grant Shapps, Housing Minister, who clearly in no way whatsoever wants to distract attention from the recent kerfuffle over his alleged misleading of Parliament through dodgy use of statistics (hereafter Shapptistics), has announced the Government’s support for a private member’s Bill.
The purpose of this Bill? Why, it is to criminalise sub-letting of social housing!
Mr Harrington’s Bill would:
create a new criminal offence of subletting; and
allow for proceeds of subletting to be reimbursed to the social landlord in whose stock the fraud was committed
Nobody here would disagree that sub-letting of social housing is a significant problem, and one that needs to be addressed … Read the full post
Denry Okpor v London Borough of Lewisham, Bromley County Court 25 October 2011 [Transcript not publicly available]
This was a rolled up permission to appeal and appeal hearing (on which more later) for appeal to a Circuit Judge from a possession order made by a District Judge at Bromley. At issue was whether the District Judge was wrong to reject a) a proportionality defence and b) a gateway B public law defence arising from Lewisham’s failure to follow its own policy. It is interesting as an example of proportionality/gateway B defences in action in the County Court, but also somewhat frustrating, for reasons which will become clear.
Mr Okpor … Read the full post
People who unlawfully sublet social housing (often at a vast profit) are, in my view, dishonest and immoral fraudsters who deserve a range of punishments too awful for a family-friendly blog like this to describe. I suspect that the makers of Council Houses: Cheats and Victims (available on Iplayer, here) would agree with me. But, regardless of your views, the Panorama programme is a relatively watchable programme about social housing fraud (‘tho the attempts to link sub-letting to the problem of Pt 6, HA 1996 waiting times is perhaps less well done). Well worth an hour of your time.
… Read the full post