Fake tenant who sub-let properties is sent to jail

A woman who conned agents into thinking she was a genuine tenant looking for a large family home, but then sub-let it and pocketed the rent, has been jailed for four years and three months.

Rose Chimuka, 32, of Peterborough, was found guilty of 11 counts of fraud after a scam linked to six addresses across south London.

Between August 2009 and June 2011, Chimuka used a false name to approach local agents. She told them she was looking for somewhere to rent for her and her family. She would ask them about schools and claim her husband worked away.

When a suitable property was found, she would rent it, then sub-divide it, put locks on internal doors and sub-let the property – in some cases to up to 15 people.

Chimuka would collect rent money in cash from her ‘tenants’ but failed to pay her own rent.

When the real landlords went to their properties, they were astonished to find large numbers of people living in their houses without their knowledge.

DC Lee Haslett of Croydon CID said: “This was an elaborate fraud and Chimuka was very calculating in committing this crime.
“She would go from place to place sub-letting the properties and collecting cash from her ‘tenants’ until the real landlord found out what was going on, at which point she would move on to a new area and property and repeat the process.

“The fact Chimuka carried out this ruse on numerous occasions showed she had clear intentions to defraud her victims – both the owners of the properties and the people who believed they were her legitimate tenants.”