Manor Park landlord scammed �14,000 in housing benefit

An unlicensed landlord in Manor Park has been prosecuted by Newham Council for �14,000 in illegal housing benefit.

Ms Filsteen Abu-Eid was sent a number of reminders by the council to licence the five-bedroom terraced house on Rabbits Road.

The property falls with the Little Ilford NIZ zone where all private landlords have had to be licensed for the past two years.

In November 2011, Ms Abu-Eid was convicted at Stratford Magistrates’ Court of failing to licence the property and fined �350.

In May this year, the Residential Property Tribunal told Ms Abu-Eid to repay �14,059 in housing benefit payments on behalf of her tenants after the council applied for a rent repayment order.

Ms Abu-Eid told the tribunal that although she was the freeholder, her father Mr Hammad managed the property and she had no involvement.

She told the hearing she could not repay the sum because she had three young children, was separated from her husband and on benefits, including being in receipt of housing benefit for the flat she lived in.

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But neither Ms Abu-Eid or her father, who owned several investment properties, provided sufficient evidence of their financial position to prove their exceptional circumstances.

Newham Mayor Sir Robin Wales said: “We want to ensure that private sector rented properties are well managed and meet a good standard.

“We also want to deal with the crime and anti-social behaviour that is sometimes associated with bad private sector rented housing.

“One bad house can drag down a whole street and we are doing this for the community.

“There are good landlords in Newham and we want to work with them. Unfortunately there are also some unscrupulous ones – and these are the ones we are targeting.”