Poplar Housing & Regeneration Community Association Limited v Begum and Rohim  EWHC 2040 (QB), 4 August 2017 Ms Begum and Mr Rohim rented a flat from Poplar, a registered provider of social housing on an assured tenancy. They received housing benefit that covered the rent in full. Terms of the lease obliged them to live at the flat as their only or principal home and prohibited them from subletting. In 2015, Poplar received information that they were subletting and discovered that Ms Begum had financial links to another flat, which was her mother’s home. On a simultaneous inspection of both flats, Ms Begum and Mr Rohim were found at her mother’s flat with their children. They both admitted that they were living there and had allowed others to occupy their own flat. At the other flat, officers found Ms Rehana and Mr Ahmed who, under caution, admitted occupying the flat and paying a monthly rent of £400 to Ms Begum and Mr Rohim. Poplar began a possession claim.
Later, police executed a search warrant at the flat that Ms Begum and Mr Rohim rented and found him in possession of cannabis and drug dealing paraphernalia, including scales, plastic dealing bags, SIM cards and cash. He was arrested on suspicion of possessing a class B drug with intent to supply. In a criminal court, he pleaded guilty to simple possession and was fined. In the county court, Recorder Wilson QC granted a suspended order for possession under HA 1988 Sch 2, Grounds 10, 12 and/or 14. Although the landlord sought an unlawful profit order under Prevention of Social Housing Fraud Act (PSHFA) 2013 s5 in the net sum of £1,550, received by Ms Begum and Mr Rohim from Ms Rehana and Mr Ahmed, the recorder refused to make such an order. The landlord appealed.
Turner J allowed the appeal. Ms Begum, Mr Rohim and their children had moved out of the flat to live with her mother. They had stopped occupying the flat as their only or principal home and had thereby breached their tenancy agreement. Ms Rehana and Mr Ahmed had paid £400 per month to live at the flat. Ms Begum and Mr Rohim had not offered the court any explanation for their conduct nor had they expressed any remorse for it. Mr Rohim had also used the flat as a base from which to further his interest in illegal drugs. After referring to Cumming v Danson  2 All ER 653, Enfield LBC v McKeon  1 WLR 1007, Raeuchle v Laimond Properties Ltd (2001) 33 HLR 10, Leeds & Yorkshire Housing.