Croydon Council has warned tenants that they face eviction if they illegally sublet their properties. The notice comes after two cases in the past month where tenants were found to be letting their property from abroad.
Councillor Alison Butler, cabinet member for homes and regeneration, said: “People who sub-let their council homes are, in addition to committing fraud, depriving genuine cases of homelessness of a roof above their heads.”
“The council has only a limited number of properties and a growing number of families asking us for help. We want to help as many of those as we can and are keen to ensure that the properties we have go to those who have done the right thing in registering and joining the housing list.”
A three-bed house in Waddon was repossessed in October after the council’s housing standards team found the tenant was sub-letting his property from Australia. A similar case in New Addington saw a property recovered after its tenant had moved to Portugal.
New laws passed in 2013 made illegal subletting of council property, which costs £1.8 billion a year, a criminal offence carrying up to two years of jail time. However some tenants are still looking to profit whilst councils face pressure on their dwindling housing stock.
The council have asked anyone who suspects illegal subletting to contact their tenancy officer or the housing standards team. They can also contact the tenancy fraud hotline on 0800 328 9270. Anyone sharing their suspicions has been guaranteed anonymity.