A MAN has landed a £2,000 court bill for dishonestly withholding information to obtain a council house in Halesowen.

Ali Hasan Mohammed Ali, formerly of Huntingtree Road, appeared at Wolverhampton Crown Court after a case was successfully brought by Dudley Council.

The court heard how Ali was allocated a council property based on false application after he failed to disclose that he owned a property.

Had he declared his true circumstances he would not have been eligible for social housing.

Ali went on to apply to purchase the property through the ‘Right to Buy’ scheme and would have benefitted from a £56,000 discount if he had been successful.

The 33-year-old admitted the offence and received a six months custodial sentence, suspended for 18 months.

He was also ordered to pay £2,000 in costs and must carry out 100 hours of unpaid work.

Alan Lunt, deputy chief executive at Dudley Council, said: "Our priority is rightly focused on providing social housing for those who are most deserving and in need of it and it is regrettable that someone has attempted to cheat the system in this way.

"We are once again showing people that we take these matters very seriously and anyone who is found to be dishonest in housing applications risks facing the full force of the law."

Dudley Council's fraud team have recovered the three bedroom council house on Huntingtree Road from Ali and the property will be made available to an applicant who is in need and eligible from the Council’s waiting list.