Hany Hanna, an estate agent in Marylebone, said he had been aware of the scams for 20 years, but recently they had reached ‘epidemic’ levels.‘After you get the flat, you move into another place, give the [first set of] keys to an agent, he will find you a tenant and you’ll be making double whammy – money from the Government and making money from the flat the Government gave you.’Westminster Council’s anti-fraud tsar, Councillor Lindsey Hall, said many of the families were former asylum seekers who had been granted refugee status.
They receive up to £500 a week in housing benefit which they use to rent private flats in luxury blocks.
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