Council tenants caught sub-letting could be jailed
Published by 24publishing for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Local Government
Council tenants caught subletting could face jail
Council tenants who sub-let their homes could face jail under plans being drawn up by the Government.
It's estimated that up to 50,000 council homes are illegally sub-let or occupied - with tenancy fraud costing the taxpayer around £5 billion a year.
Housing minister Grant Shapps told the Telegraph that it wasn't right that "tenancy fraud and abuse locks out some of the most vulnerable families from getting a roof over their heads".
According to the paper, he wants to bring in new laws that could see those abusing the system have their homes taken off them and face imprisonment.
There is currently no criminal sanction against those sub-letting council homes.
Earlier this year Panorama exposed the scandal of unlawful subletting, revealing how a part-time police officer was attempting to rent his council flat out for more than £350 a week more than the rent he paid to Southwark council.
The move is one of several Mr Shapps is taking to free up social housing for those in most need. There are some 1.8 million families on the waiting list for a council home.
Other measures include asking tenants earning more than £100,000 to leave their social home or pay the market rent and the introduction of fixed-term tenancies with tenants being asked to move if their circumstances improve.