A TENANT who illegally sub-let his council flat has been convicted of fraud and ordered to pay hundreds of pounds.

Victor Carrington, formerly of Granville Road, admitted to two counts of fraud at Reading Magistrates' Court on November 10 after being under the microscope since November 2015.

He was fined a total of £743, with an additional £600 in costs awarded to Reading Borough Council.

The council's fraud investigation team had a tip-off from concerned residents.

Carrington had been a council tenant since 2005, but after leaving the address, he sub-let the property to his friend without informing the council that he was no longer living there.

Reading Borough Council leader Jo Lovelock said: “There has never been more demand for social housing and the council has duty to ensure social homes are available to those that need them.

“This prosecution shows the council will not tolerate tenancy fraud.

"The council will investigate all cases robustly and where offences are uncovered take the necessary legal action to recover the property.”

During a 17-month investigation, housing officers used banking and CCTV evidence.

When they arranged to visit the property, Carrington ensured he was available to see them and completed false statements confirming he still lived at the address.

He also failed to disclose that someone else was living at the flat.

The property has now been let to another council tenant after being returned to the council in June.

Carrington, of Lowfield Road, Caversham, admitted one count of fraud and another of prevention of social housing fraud.

If you are aware of a potential case of tenancy fraud, you can report this anonymously via the Reading Borough Council website www.reading.gov.uk/fraud or call the freephone hotline on 0118 937 2143.