St Albans-based mother lied on form to obtain council house

A MOTHER has been fined after lying to obtain a council house from the district council.

Amanda Coxill, 36, stated that she was homeless and living with a friend in St Albans when she still had a tenancy agreement with Sheffield City Council.

When she completed a housing needs register form to get a council house in March last year, Miss Coxill said she had been living temporarily in Camp Road, St Albans, since October 2009, prior to which she claimed she had lived in Ireland for eight years.

During routine checks carried out by the district council to verify the application, it was found that Miss Coxill, who listed her partner and two dependent children on the application, had in fact been living in a council-owned property in Lingfoot Crescent, Sheffield.

The city’s council assumed that she was still a resident at the address and confirmed that Miss Coxhill had failed to supply a notice of intention to vacate or give a forwarding address, as well as leaving behind substantial rent arrears.

Miss Coxill was interviewed under caution and admitted fraudulently claiming that she had lived in Ireland when she had been in Sheffield.

She was then prosecuted under Section 214 of the Housing Act 1996 because she had made herself intentionally homeless and had lied on her application form in order to obtain a council property.

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She pleaded guilty and Watford Magistrates Court fined her �235 and ordered her to pay costs of �200 as well as a �15 victim surcharge. Miss Coxill has been removed from the district council’s housing needs register.

Cllr David Poor, portfolio holder for housing services for the district council, said after the court hearing: “Demand for council housing is high and the council takes all necessary steps to ensure that these homes go to those most in need.

“It will continue to carry out checks on applicants and will prosecute those who lie on their application forms.”