Social landlord fraud crackdown brings home £15m
Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Legal
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A social landlord's crackdown on tenancy fraud has led to it making savings of over £15 million.
Since January 2012, Viridian Housing has managed to free-up 72 properties that were being illegally sublet - homes that have subsequently been re-let to people in genuine need of social housing.
Viridian estimates that if it had to build new properties in place of those being illegally sublet it would cost a total of £15,800,000.
New legislation introduced under the Prevention of Social Housing Fraud Act 2013 will make it a criminal offence for social housing tenants to unlawfully sublet their properties, meaning illegal subletters could risk losing their home as well as being given a prison sentence.
Katrina Robinson, solicitor and head of legal services at Viridian, said: “If our tenants sublet or do not use their homes they are denying someone in genuine need from being offered a home. We hope that this subletting amnesty will encourage tenants who are illegally subletting to come forward and give up these properties, which will help us re-house more people who are on our waiting list.”
The housing association is currently running an amnesty offering tenants that are subletting or not using their home the opportunity to hand in their keys to avoid court action.