Council house amnesty aims to wipe out tenancy fraud

Cllr Anne Meadows
Cllr Anne Meadows

People subletting their council homes have a chance to avoid legal action by handing their property back during an amnesty by Brighton and Hove City Council.

The council has said its tenancy fraud amnesty begins today (April 3), and those illegally subletting their homes or keeping a social housing tenancy while living elsewhere have until May 31 to return their properties without fear of further action.

People subletting their council homes can hand their keys in at Hove Town Hall with no fear of further action during the amnesty

People subletting their council homes can hand their keys in at Hove Town Hall with no fear of further action during the amnesty

Tenants will need to leave the property unoccupied and empty of all belongings, and sign a surrender notice.

Six families were rehomed following the first tenancy fraud amnesty run between December 2016 and January 2017.

Councillor Anne Meadows, chair of the housing and new homes committee, said: “We have a huge demand for housing in the city. Tenancy fraud deprives residents in genuine need at a huge cost to the city and we are focussed on tackling the problem. The amnesties offer us the chance to get properties back quickly and cheaply.”

Keys can be handed in at: Bartholomew House, Bartholomew Square, Brighton; Portslade Town Hall, Victoria Road, Portslade; Whitehawk Community Hub, 179a Whitehawk Road, Brighton; or Lavender Street Housing Office, Lavender Street, Brighton.

Tenants looking for more information on the amnesty can call Housing Customer Services on 01273 293030 or email housing.customerservices@brighton-hove.gov.uk.

If anyone suspects someone isn’t living in their council house or is subletting it, they can report it in confidence by calling the council on 01273 291847 or emailing anti-fraud@brighton-hove.gov.uk.