Just a look at three Council owned addresses throws up anomalies about tenants and companies registered at Council owned properties; which highlight possible tenancy fraud.
This is where data matching can help the council spot the anomalies and do a physical check – ie get an officer of their derriere and knocking on doors, after undertaking a very simple data matching exercise.
Data matching, as the name suggests, is the process of comparing data from two or more datasets to determine if they refer to the same thing. Data matching is particularly useful when combining data from multiple siloed sources. It is also very useful to show anomalies which then warrant further investigation.
Folkestone & Hythe District Council do not appear to be capable of data matching. If they were then the following anomalies – which we give as examples – would have been investigated, but of course have not been according to senior Council sources.
When one takes a tenancy in a FHDC Council owned property, the tenancy agreement states something like:-
You must not run a business from the property without first obtaining our written permission. Before we consider granting or refusing permission to run a business we consider factors such as the amount of noise generated, any nuisance that may be caused to your neighbours or whether damage will occur to the property. Even if our consent is given, in the capacity as landlord, you may also still need to obtain planning permission for a change of use.
Now given permission is needed to run a business from a Council property, the simple way for the Council to check if tenants are complying with this requirement of their tenancy is to do a simple data matching exercise.
The Council have the name of the tenant/s on the tenancy. They have the address and will no doubt have some photographic evidence of the tenant/s.
Companies House hold records on business and the address. So the address is the common denominator that can be data matched. This is simple and easy to do. It is not rocket science.
So let’s take a look at three addresses, we the team know well
Now according to Companies House, there have been three companies registered at this address, one has recently been incorporated. The companies are:
1 – Aphrodit Ltd is the only active company at Phoenix Court according to Companies House. It has one director who is Manfred Casper CHIKURUKUTA, who is eighteen years old and is British.
Now of course, we don’t know if Mr Chikurukuta has written permission to have a business at the address, but a simple check of Council tenancy records would tell them. We also don’t know Mr Chikurukuta is the tenant at the address, but a simple knock on the door by Housing Officers/Enforcement Officers, would then substantiate if the person named lives at the address.
As for the two dissolved companies with the three Zimbabwean directors, there is nothing one can do, as the companies no longer exist.
There are currently three active companies and three dissolved companies at Rowan Court
Now of course, we don’t know the directors of the companies have or had has written permission to have a business at the addresses, but a simple check of Council tenancy records would tell the Council. We also don’t know if the directors live or lived at the addresses as tenants, but a simple knock on the door by Housing Officers/Enforcement Officers, would then substantiate if the person named at the address lives there.
Ross House, is a property we have written about extensively in the past.
There are two companies registered to the address, one active one dissolved. The companies are:
Now of course, we don’t know if the directors of the companies has written permission to have a business at the addresses, but a simple check of Council tenancy records would tell the Council. We also don’t know if the director lives or lived at the addresses as a tenant, but a simple knock on the door by Housing Officers/Enforcement Officers, would then substantiate if the person named at the address lives there.
We also note the dissolved company Speedy Moves Ltd has had mixed reviews regarding the transportation of peoples goods. The Current company Happy Transport Services Ltd appears to have better reviews.
We could carry on giving examples but as they say:
Once is a mistake, twice is a habit, three times is a pattern
So would data matching by our Council help spot tenancy fraud?
Yes is the answer to that.
Would it help identify if people are using Council addresses for companies, when the directors are not the tenants of the properties.
Yes is the answer to that.
Are the Council data matching these data sets.
No say senior council officers.
Cllr David Godfrey (Con) (Pictured) is the Cabinet Member for Housing and the officer who attends the Kent Tenancy Fraud Forum is Mark Miller
As such, tenants may well be in breach of their tenancy and what with 1,200 plus households on the Council waiting list, might any of these households be more worthy of a home?
We’ll leave you to think about that.
NB:- The inclusion of a person or entity in this blogpost is not intended to suggest or imply that they have engaged in illegal or improper conduct. The data comes directly from Companies House and is publicly available.
The Shepway Vox Team
Journalism for the People NOT the Powerful