Leamington tenant convicted for illegally subletting council-owned home

The Justice Centre in Leamington, home to Warwick Crown Court
The Justice Centre in Leamington, home to Warwick Crown Court

A Leamington tenant has been prosecuted for subletting his home.

On October 26, at Warwickshire Magistrates Court, Mark Skinner, 36, was prosecuted for illegally subletting his council home in Princes Street, Leamington.

Skinner vacated the Warwick District Council owned home in 2014 and now lives in Batley (West Yorkshire) but instead of informing the council, he allowed a tenant to move into the property and sublet from him to avoid being placed on a waiting list for the council’s housing scheme.

The conviction, believed to be the first of its kind in Warwickshire since the introduction of the Prevention of Social Housing Fraud Act 2013, was made following a six month investigation by the council’s Fraud Team.

Skinner was ordered to pay a fine, victim surcharge and court costs.

Councillor Peter Phillips, Warwick District Council’s portfolio holder for housing services, said: “The council has an agreed priority allocation scheme which aims to provide homes to those with the greatest need.

“I very much hope that this conviction sends a stark warning that illegally subletting or any other act of fraud against the council and our residents will not be tolerated.”

If anyone suspects fraud is taking place they can report it by visiting the council’s website or calling the Fraud Team on: 01926 456820.