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Blackburn mortgage name switch man breached benefit rules
3:50pm Friday 19th October 2012 in News
A 39-YEAR-OLD man fell foul of benefit rules by helping his sister put a roof over her head.
Blackburn magistrates heard Raja Sharjeel Imtiaz signed up for a mortgage for the property because his sister could not get the finance.
But when Imtiaz claimed benefits he did not reveal that the house was in his name.
“The house was his in name only,” said Gareth Price, defending.
“He showed the investigators his bank statements which revealed that while he paid the mortgage his sister paid the corresponding sum of money into his account every month.
“When the mortgage was paid up he would have signed the house over to his sister who was actually paying for it.”
Imtiaz, of London Walk, Blackburn, pleaded guilty to three charges of failing to notify a change of circumstances affecting his entitlement to jobseekers allowance, housing and council tax benefits.
He was made subject to a curfew between 8 pm and 7 am for 12 weeks and ordered to pay £85 costs. The court heard there was an overpayment of £11,460 in jobseekers allowance.
Mr Price said Imtiaz had told his sister of the problems and informed her he would have to sell the house.
“He didn’t set out to get benefits to which he wasn’t entitled,” said Mr Price.
“A lack of knowledge got him into this situation and I ask you to accept this was a genuine misunderstanding.”