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Published: 06:00, 09 August 2019
A tenancy fraudster who abandoned her property to live with a boyfriend has been caught out thanks to a county-wide housing campaign.
The woman, who was illegally cheating others out of social housing, was reported thanks to publicity surrounding a ‘key amnesty’ drive, backed by 14 social housing landlords in Kent
Neighbours described how the tenant would only return to the property in Gravesend every two months to pick up her post. She has now been issued with a Notice to Quit by West Kent Housing Association, freeing up accommodation for people desperate for a home.
The month-long key amnesty gave fraudsters the chance to give their keys back without risking prosecution or legal action.
It was predominantly aimed at those subletting their home without permission, or charging other people to live in a property while they stay elsewhere.
Felicty Dunmall, housing service manager for Gravesend Churches Housing Association, said: “The couple [who reported the tenant] told us that they hadn’t wanted to interfere in the past but then saw the publicity around the campaign and realised that their neighbour was committing fraud.”
Adam Simmons, chairman of the Kent Tenancy Fraud Forum which organised the amnesty, said: “Abandoning a property to go and live with a partner but keeping it as a ‘bolt hole’ simply isn’t fair, particularly when the rent is being paid through housing benefit.”
Other housing associations who took part included Moat and mhs homes.