Council to take back keys in tenancy fraud case

07 Mar 2017

Stevenage Borough Council has prosecuted two brothers and will take back a council house after they provided false information to obtain a property following the death of their mother.

Mr Ross Dixie and Mr Gareth Dixie pleaded guilty at Stevenage Magistrates’ Court on Friday 3 March to providing false information saying that they still lived at their mother’s three-bedroom address in Almonds Lane following her death in October 2015.

The brothers had made an application to the council for a non-statutory succession, which meant they would be given a two-bedroom property in exchange for their mother’s house, but an investigation by Stevenage Borough Council and the Hertfordshire Shared Anti-Fraud Service found that Mr Ross Dixie was living with his wife in Sefton Road and not at the property in Almonds Lane.

The keys to the three-bedroom house in Almonds Lane will now be handed back to the council. Mr Ross Dixie was also fined £240, with costs of £500 and a victim surcharge of £30, while Mr Gareth Dixie was fined £365 with costs of £500 and a victim surcharge of £36.

Councillor Jeannette Thomas, Executive Member for Housing, Health and Older People at Stevenage Borough Council, said: “When somebody provides us with false information to obtain a council house they are committing a criminal offence. I want to reassure our valued tenants that we will not tolerate tenancy fraud so I’m pleased this property will now be let to a family from the housing register.”

Stevenage Borough Council works in partnership with the Shared Anti-Fraud Service (SAFS) to target fraudulent activity. You can report suspected tenancy fraud by emailing tenancyfraud@stevenage.gov.uk  or by visiting our Customer Service Centre.

-ends-