Woman kicked out of council flat and ordered to pay £2,000 after illegally renting Stevenage property from cousin
PUBLISHED: 13:21 18 January 2016 | UPDATED: 16:57 18 January 2016
A woman who was illegally renting a council flat in Stevenage from her cousin has been kicked out of the property and will ordered to pay a hefty fine by a council anti-fraud team.
Rebecca Siggery, 25, has been living in the one-bedroom flat in Archer Road, Stevenage, after her cousin Paul Skipper sub-let it to her.
The pair were prosecuted by Herts County Council which operates a shared anti-fraud service with other councils including Stevenage.
The flat was seized by Stevenage Borough Council and has already been let to another tenant on the borough council’s waiting list.
Siggery pleaded guilty to one count of fraud by misrepresentation at Stevenage Magistrates’ Court on January 8. She was fined £80 and ordered to pay £1,950 in court costs.
Skipper of Clacton-on-Sea also pleaded guilty to two counts of fraud by misrepresentation and one count of illegally subletting his flat to Siggery.
The 36-year-old was fined £280 and ordered to pay £1,950 in court costs.
Councillor Ann Webb, responsible for housing at the borough council, said: “This investigation shows that we are committed to taking action against people who fraudulently obtain a tenancy.
“I would like to thank the officers who dealt with this case for all their hard work as the housing service is increasingly under pressure to provide accommodation.
“We are really pleased that justice has been served as this will allow someone on our housing register to move into the property.”
County council deputy leader Chris Hayward said of the prosecution: “If you know a cheat on your street you should report them.
“Homes stolen by cheats will be recovered and lived in by people who need them. “It’s not fair that you pay your taxes, while other people get away without paying them. All council services are funded by taxpayers, so when people commit tenancy fraud, they are stealing from their whole community.”
If you have information on someone illegally letting a council property, call the county council on 0300 1234033.