A MAN from Hayes who illegally sub-let his council house for several years by renting it out through the classified adverts website Gumtree has been jailed for 14 weeks.

Hillingdon Council’s corporate fraud team discovered that Hikmat Al-Delou, of 96 Botwell Lane, Hayes, regularly advertised his council house, 16 Exmouth Road, Hayes, as being available to rent on Gumtree.

As a result of illegal sub-letting, Al-Delou collected thousands of pounds in rent to which he was not entitled. He also claimed housing benefit, council tax benefit and employment and support allowance. even though he had a job, fraudulently receiving more than £25,000 of public money.

He pleaded guilty to these charges at Uxbridge Magistrates’ Court, where he was sentenced to 14 weeks in prison.

Garry Coote, Corporate Fraud Team Manager at Hillingdon Council, said: “We’re always pleased when another benefit cheat is caught and this was a case where thousands of pounds of taxpayers’ money was fraudulently claimed. Thanks to a thorough investigation, the courts recognised the seriousness of the offences by handing down a prison sentence.”

Anyone who suspects someone is committing benefit fraud or illegally sub-letting a council property should contact the council’s 24-hour, confidential and anonymous hotline on 0800 389 8313.