Upload a photo Upload a video Upload an mp3 Upload an event

News


Subletting Council Houses Could Become Criminal Offence

Friday July 13 2012


MP John Healey MP John Healey


A BARNSLEY MP is backing a bill that goes to parliament today that will criminalise tenancy fraud.

John Healey, MP, is backing the plan to crack down on subletting by council tenants.

He said: “We can’t let cheats keep the tenancies of council houses if they don’t need or live in them.

“With so many people needing homes, we need to keep doing all we can to make sure the system is fair.

“Cracking down on sub-letting can free up homes for people on council waiting lists.”

It is estimated that between 50,000 and 160,000 properties across the UK may be unlawfully occupied, earning tenancy cheats thousands of pounds a year renting the homes out to private tenants.

The bill is being discussed in the House of Lords on Friday (July 13.)

* What do you think? Should it be made a criminal offence? Join the debate by commenting in the box below. *

25 Showing 25 comments

Reply Posted by Paul C on Friday July 13 2012 at 10:35
I think it absolutely disgusting that council tenants can even contemplate in privately renting there council properties out. It took me ages to get a council house and I thank the heavenly lords every day that my family has finally a stable home. Shame on Britain if this is happening and certainly if people are doing this they need to be evicted from the council. There are genuine people out there who need these kind of homes, because private landlords are taking advantage of the vulnerable.In conclusion absolutely shocking.

Reply Posted by king louis on Friday July 13 2012 at 10:47
Also fine the new tenant if they don't have a rent book with all of the scam landlords details on it....signed by the scam landlord. Some tenants are in of the scam and are getting inflated benefits because of the falsely high rent.

Reply Posted by peter stott on Friday July 13 2012 at 10:50
quite right too, keep council housing for those as needs it! end of

Reply Posted by c on Friday July 13 2012 at 14:10
Totally agree..

Reply Posted by RG on Friday July 13 2012 at 15:16
I think the council should get a grip. The weekly rent is too cheap to maintain the houses correctly and in the long run they have ended up with masses of houses that people rent cheap that are substandard and attract complaints etc. thats why there is a significant difference between private and council rental's. I think they should sell off some houses to private landlords who can maintain them correctly and charge a little more for the rent. In the long run we all pay for it any way. Just vet these people. Not every private landlord is a scammer. Its just we dont do it at a loss!

Reply Posted by Maggie on Friday July 13 2012 at 22:25
OLD OLD OLD NEWS

This was in the newspapers in JANUARY !!!!!
http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2012/jan/01/subletting-council-houses-criminal-offence

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-16376455


Reply Posted by jo-jo on Saturday July 14 2012 at 16:18
thought it was already a criminal offence to sublet council property. not enough social housing anyway.

Reply Posted by terry on Saturday July 14 2012 at 16:24
What about these that live in a council property & rent a private house out ? thought that might open a few eye's = my neighbour for instance ...

Reply Posted by paul on Sunday July 15 2012 at 18:14
Just want to refer to RG comment, nobody said all private landlords are scammers you have actually said that. Private landlords know full well they can charge what they want and yes the majority of private landlord are in it for the money not like the council where welfare is the priority.

Reply Posted by Amy on Monday July 16 2012 at 09:13
It's disgusting that this can even happen. I live in a council house and absolutely love my little house to pieces. I needed mine as my kids father left us and I couldn't afford to live in private rented housing with my (full time) wage and being able to provide for my 2 kids. Me and my 2 kids (4 year old and 2 year old) were sleeping in a single bed at my parents as they didn't have the room for us. It didn't take overly long for me to get a property (3 1/2 months) but it has been the best move for me. People out there for whatever reason need these houses and that's what they should be used for. If the people awardees the housing aren't living in it then they should be evicted and the house go to someone who genuinely needs it. There'd be no getting away with this on our street everyone knows everyone else's business and aren't shy in reporting people...I've seen them do it.
Such a shame some people today don't take a moment to think that we are all in this recession, not just them and are all struggling to make ends meet no matter whether we're working or not.

Reply Posted by Amy on Monday July 16 2012 at 09:13
It's disgusting that this can even happen. I live in a council house and absolutely love my little house to pieces. I needed mine as my kids father left us and I couldn't afford to live in private rented housing with my (full time) wage and being able to provide for my 2 kids. Me and my 2 kids (4 year old and 2 year old) were sleeping in a single bed at my parents as they didn't have the room for us. It didn't take overly long for me to get a property (3 1/2 months) but it has been the best move for me. People out there for whatever reason need these houses and that's what they should be used for. If the people awardees the housing aren't living in it then they should be evicted and the house go to someone who genuinely needs it. There'd be no getting away with this on our street everyone knows everyone else's business and aren't shy in reporting people...I've seen them do it.
Such a shame some people today don't take a moment to think that we are all in this recession, not just them and are all struggling to make ends meet no matter whether we're working or not.

Reply Posted by lorraine on Monday July 16 2012 at 09:15
i agree 100% theres not enough social housing to go round leaving people at the hands of private landlords who charge inflated rents and often substandard properties the government need to sort this and also ensure that resources are there to build enough social housing for everyone then the sub letters wouldnt need to be in this situation as they could get a home of their own

Reply Posted by Nicky on Monday July 16 2012 at 09:20
Maggie - I'd love to know how it can be considered old news when it only went before parliament for the second reading on JULY 13th?

Reply Posted by steven on Monday July 16 2012 at 09:21
I've applied for a council because me and my new family live on a slumlord street. Ie they don't care who they get as long as rent paid.

Reply Posted by Neil on Monday July 16 2012 at 16:53
WHAT THE HELL...... Ya mean i've been waiting 8 year for an house an people are letting their council houses out? Have I got that right......... What the hell are you people in the council getting payed for.. Sort it out............

Reply Posted by julie on Tuesday July 17 2012 at 10:43
omg we cant get a council house were paying way too much for private rented its a chuffing joke people are just greedy so they should be punished talk about being fraudulent about a mean why should they get away with it its disgusting when ther peopl out there desperately need houses

Reply Posted by sue on Tuesday July 17 2012 at 10:51
same as jo jo thought it was already a criminal offence to sub let a council house, what gets me is when someone with a council house lives elsewhere (with b/f or g/f and there house is no longer lived in ) I know its been reported more than once but nothings done when a family could have that house who really needs it.

Reply Posted by jane on Tuesday July 17 2012 at 10:51
my daughter was told by someone at Berneslai Homes that when she left the private rented property because they bloke she lived with was beating her in front of the kids that she had made herself intentionally homeless so she wouldn't get a house, now all 4 of us (myself,my daughter and my two grandkids) are sharing a double room at my house, and these people can keep a council house when they obviously don't need one, peeves me off!!!

Reply Posted by Kerry on Tuesday July 17 2012 at 11:03
I was on the council list when my daughter was born as my partner left us I had to move back to my mums and was very cramped never ended up with one with the wait taking so long couldn't stay at my mums with no room it drove me mad so moved to a 2 bed flat I did struggle on my own as the the rent was stupid!!! I now have a good partner and don't really need one so not on the list the reason I took myself off is cause there are people that need them more than I do I think it's wrong that people would do this it needs sorting I struggled for 4 years on my own and it's really not a nice place to be in!!!

Reply Posted by Pete on Tuesday July 17 2012 at 11:06
At the moment it is not a criminal offence to sublet your council house but it is written into the tenancy agreement that you cannot sublet it. Berneslai Homes and BMBC have the power to evict people that break the agreement. The problem I think is locating the people who sublet. If you know someone who does this then please contact Berneslai Homes. It is no good saying I'm not reporting this person or that person and complaining about what goes off. Just do it and get these cheaters evicted.

Reply Posted by Nadine on Tuesday July 17 2012 at 11:09
I've been taken off list loads of times saying they didn't receive my paper work what's lies in applied 7 years ago and got fed up of having to reapply over and over again now I live in a private rented prop I can't really afford :(

Reply Posted by norman cook on Tuesday July 17 2012 at 11:47
A lot of people are saying private rentals are expensive, can someone give a figure please. just out of interest

Reply Posted by Laura on Tuesday July 17 2012 at 14:42
Ave private rental for a 2 bed terrace seems to be £350 not sure what it is for a Council house equivalent as they don't seem to want to publish their rental prices without you actually having to register on the list! (Thought that would have been public information!!). Quote from the Council's own website though is: "The cost of either renting or buying affordable housing is lower than in the private sector."
Here is the link: http://www.barnsley.gov.uk/services/housing/housing-advice/affordable-housing/

Reply Posted by Laura on Tuesday July 17 2012 at 14:44
Sorry, to clarify, that is £350 per calendar month.

Reply Posted by Norman cook on Tuesday July 17 2012 at 15:28
Cheers Laura, £350 is a lot but much less than a mortgage. I know the landlord gets to keep the house but then again he also has to cover his costs.

don't people also get housing benefit to help pay for this?

Council is subsidised though they aren't out (or shouldn't be) to make money. Sounds like a lot of people are getting a hard deal from bad landlords.

Add new comment
Your email address will not be visible to other users of the website when you leave a comment.