A former employee of Slough Borough Council has been given two 12 month custodial sentences, suspended for 18 months, for failing to declare her ownership of a property when accepting a tenancy with the council, and then going on to apply for the Right to Buy scheme.
Farah Qadir, 27, formally of Oban Court Slough, had taken on a tenancy with Slough Borough Council in February 2014, and did not declare part ownership of a property in Maple Crescent.
Qadir was employed by the council as a customer service advisor when she applied to the housing register for accommodation.
She then went on to make an application under the Right to Buy scheme in May 2017, again without declaring her ownership of Maple Crescent.
Qadir pleaded guilty on 27 March 2018 at Reading Crown Court to two counts of dishonestly making a false representation to Slough Borough Council contrary to Section 2 of The Fraud Act 2006.
At the sentencing hearing on 3rd May 2018, Qadir received two 12 month custodial sentences to run concurrently, suspended for 18 months. The sentence was suspended with two requirements, firstly not to commit any further criminal offences and secondly to complete 180 hours unpaid work.
Costs of £500 were also awarded to Slough Borough Council and a victim surcharge of £100.
Qadir has returned the keys to the council property in Oban Court and her application to purchase the property has been closed. The property has been returned to the council’s housing stock to be allocated to someone on the housing register.
Cllr Mohammed Nazir, cabinet member for housing, said: “Social housing is a valuable resource which can support those in most need by providing a good quality and stable home environment.
“Obtaining or attempting to obtain a council tenancy by committing fraud is depriving a genuine applicant a home.”
Cllr Pavitar K Mann, cabinet member for regulation and consumer protection, said: “The council is determined to stamp out fraud and will not hesitate to prosecute housing cheats. I hope this case will act as a deterrent for anyone thinking they are above the law and can get a council property despite owning a home privately.”
“I would like to thank the staff in the housing and corporate fraud teams at the council for bringing about this successful prosecution.”