An attempt to swindle almost £40,000 through a fraudulent Right to Buy application has seen a Greater Manchester Woman narrowly avoid prison.
Since June 2018, Tuyet Anh Alexander, 52, of Bolton Road West, Bury, had been under investigation by officers working for Manchester City Council following suspicions being raised around the legitimacy of Right to Buy Application in respect of her father’s home.
Housing and counter-fraud officers learned that Alexander had attempted to purchase her father's home in North Manchester under the scheme, forging his signature and naming herself as a joint applicant. It was identified that her father had been out of the UK since June 2013 and had no intention to return - at which point the property should have been surrendered.
Alexander, the owner of another property which she had purchased under the Right to Buy Scheme, continued to reside in the property and submitted the application to purchase the property under the Scheme purporting to be her father.
As Alexander was not the tenant and her father had parted with possession of the property, she had no entitlement to purchase the property or claim the discount. The Scheme can result in the buyer of a Council house getting a minimum discount of 35% on the market cost of the property. This discount increases based on the number of years a tenant has lived there.
Had she been successful in her application she would have unfairly saved £37,600 on the value of the house, and both this sum of money and the property itself lost for the people of Manchester.
Alexander pleaded guilty to making a fraudulent Right to Buy application under the Fraud Act 2006 on October 10, and was sentenced at Manchester Magistrates’ Court on October 24.
She was jailed for 16 weeks, suspended for a year. Ordered to carry out 16 days of rehabilitation activity, 150 hours of unpaid work, pay court costs of £1,000 and a victim surcharge of £115.
Councillor Suzanne Richards, Executive Member for House and Regeneration, said: “As a Council we want to ensure that everyone in this city has access to a safe, secure and affordable home. That is why we are working hard to safeguard our social housing stock and prevent unnecessary losses. We also have a programme of building new social homes in partnership with Registered Social Landlords across the city. Crimes like this make all our jobs that much harder to do.
“We are in the midst of a housing crisis and we cannot afford to lose out to fraudsters. I’d like to thank our investigating officers for ensuring that in this case, justice was served and this home was saved for someone in genuine housing need in our city.”