A council tenant illegally sublet his Walthamstow flat for five years while living in Warrington with his partner and children.

Oluwajare Adegbuyi was caught illegally subletting the flat in Stocksfield Road following a Waltham Forest council anti-fraud team investigation in partnership with Warrington Borough Council.

Officers discovered the occupier of the Stockfield Road property was not the rightful tennant; Adegbuyi found to also be registered as the tenant of a council property in Warrington.

At Thames Magistrates’ Court on Thursday, January 23, the defendant claimed he had moved to Warrington to be with his partner and their two children.

He said he had let his aunt live in the flat, and then subsequently let it to other tenants because he was not sure if he would return and did not wish to give up his council property.

Adegbuyi pled guilty to dishonestly sub-letting and the judge imposed an unlawful profit order, compelling him to pay back money he received from subletting the property.

He was fined £130 and ordered to pay back £846. Waltham Forest Council was also awarded full legal costs – Adegbuyi will have to pay in excess of £2,500 in total.

The property has since been returned to the council and made available to house an individual previously on the waiting list.

Cllr Louise Mitchell, cabinet member for housing and homelessness prevention, said: “Illegal subletting is not a victimless crime. It denies homes to people and families who are in genuine need of them. We will always push for the highest penalties in instances of fraud, although the courts will make the final decision.

“This is an excellent example of our housing officers and anti-fraud team working together to ensure the people who live in our properties are the rightful and legal tenants.”

East London and West Essex Guardian Series:

For more breaking news, local headlines and features, ‘like’ our Facebook page.

We also have a Twitter account: @ELondonGuardian

Follow us to keep up-to-date with news in Waltham Forest and Redbridge.