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More than 70 properties, illegally occupied or left unoccupied, have been reclaimed by Newham Council.

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Since April 2013, the council has recovered 71 properties, 11 in November, and returned them for use by residents on the waiting list for homes.

On a property in Mountfield Road, East Ham, the council received information which showed that the tenant had two tenancies, one in Leeds and one in Newham and when interviewed the tenant revealed she was living in the home in Leeds.

A property in Upper Road, Plaistow was recovered when housing compliance found that the tenant was claiming benefits from another address repossessed as abandoned.

Cllr Andrew Baikie, executive member for housing and customer service, said: “Tenancy fraud such as this costs the council thousands of pounds and deprives residents who may have been on the housing list for years of a home.

“We have a shortage of high quality homes available and thousands of people waiting for a council property so it is imperative that our housing stock is distributed fairly.

“We know that the majority of our tenants live in their properties legally but it is important that we tackle those who are committing fraud.”

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