Council subletters face prison
Sub-letting a council home is now, for the first time, a criminal offence with tenants facing not only criminal charges but also a hefty fine.
The government has taken the decision to clamp down on the practice after research found that it costs the taxpayer up to £1.8bn a year.
Housing minister Kris Hopkins said: “For years, tenancy cheats have been able to carry on with their fraudulent activity, denying social homes to people in real need while facing little more than a slap on the wrist if they got caught.
“Today’s new powers will ensure social tenants found sub-letting their home will face the real threat of prison time and a fine, while social landlords will have the ability to recover the profits they make.”
Officials estimate that some 100,000 social housing properties could be unlawfully occupied whilst thousands remain on waiting lists for such homes.