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A man has spoken out after being left homeless because a stranger moved into his flat while he was away and he's unable to remove them.
In December 2019, Filippe Scalora left London to travel.
When he finally did return, the 41-year-old came home to find someone occupying his flat.
As a result of a health condition, Filippe said he'd been told he had an assured lifetime tenancy agreement on the flat.
While stuck in Australia, he contacted the Clarion housing association to make them aware the flat would be empty for a while.
The 41-year-old then sent back his keys upon the request of a Clarion employee so that inspections of the flat could be carried out.
Soon after, Filippe was allegedly told by the employee that during his time away, another person would be moved into the flat.
"I wasn't too worried at first. I told her I will be coming back and she reassured me I would be moved into an available property," the 41-year-old said.
Filippe subsequently moved out his belongings with the help of a friend. However, once restrictions were eased and travel resumed, Filippe soon 'found out what was happening'.
In November 2020, Filippe spoke to another employee from the housing association.
He discovered £8,000 worth of utility bills had been racked up in his name which urgently needed paying. There was also no record of his flat having any new occupier.
"I soon found out that the Clarion worker had been collecting money by renting out my flat privately," the 41-year-old said.
An investigation into tenancy fraud has since been launched by Clarion.
A spokesperson told LADbible: "Clarion takes a zero tolerance approach to tenancy fraud and there is a criminal investigation currently underway regarding this case. In order to not prejudice that inquiry, we cannot comment in detail.
"We can confirm that three individuals are the subject of this investigation: a Clarion staff member, a Clarion resident and the person now illegally residing in the home. All three of these individuals are suspected of colluding to commit tenancy fraud. If tenancy fraud is established, we will take all appropriate action and support the prosecution of anyone who has been involved.
"Our policy regarding tenancy fraud is available on our website and all Clarion residents are made aware of their responsibilities. We also have a robust policy for investigating any staff member accused of fraudulent activity and this is being acted on now."
However, as the investigation continues, Filippe has still been left without a home.
The 41-year-old has had to resort to living in hotels while his flat remains occupied by a stranger.
Filippe concluded: "It's really taken a lot out of me. A stranger has been in my flat, running up bills and sleeping in my bed. Meanwhile I'm left homeless.
"[...] I'd lived in Kensington and Chelsea for a long time, but I've had to move out because I can't afford to stay in hotels in the area. It's a real shame. I just want my flat back and for this nightmare to be over."
LADbible has contacted Clarion for comment.
Topics: UK News