The tenancy enforcement team at social landlord Hyde has secured an £81,000 money judgment against a former tenant for unlawful subletting.
The housing association said a call to its customer services team by a subtenant in October 2019 about a repairs issue, raised suspicions around a Lambeth resident subletting. This was immediately investigated by a tenancy officer.
Enquiries were made by contacting the local authority and the tenancy officer established that the tenant was living abroad (he owned and resided at his property abroad as his main home) and had not lived at the address for several years.
Batchelors Solicitors were instructed to act on Hyde’s behalf with regards to the court proceedings.
The possession claim was on the basis of unlawful subletting since at least March 2014. Although the tenant surrendered the tenancy in November 2020, Batchelors proceeded to seek a money judgment for the arrears, unlawful profit order and costs.
The court hearing was held on 2 February 2021 and the judge was satisfied that the former tenant had unlawfully sublet the property and was ordered to pay Hyde more than £81,000 by 16 February 2021. If he does not pay by this date, further interest will accrue at £17.79 per day.
Hyde said it was now seeking further legal advice about the viability of enforcing of the judgment on the basis that the former tenant owns a property abroad.
Bankole Payne, Hyde Tenancy Team Manager, said: “This case demonstrates our tenacity in pursuing this case, despite the challenges involved when investigating and obtaining appropriate evidence. This successful outcome is vital given the high demand for social housing. The two-bedroom property will now be available to let again to a more deserving family in need.”
David Gethin, Associate Solicitor, Batchelors Solicitors, said: “It is always extremely satisfying to work with a proactive housing association like Hyde who take a strong stance in dealing with tenants who abuse the benefit of having a social housing tenancy, particularly during a pandemic.
“We are very pleased to have achieved such a good result with Hyde.”