The council has delivered one of the most successful housing amnesty campaigns in the UK. It will save hundreds of thousands of pounds per year in housing costs and has freed up much needed social housing.
The amnesty complimented the council’s ongoing ‘zero tolerance’ approach to tenancy fraud and raised awareness of the social and financial costs of illegal sublets across the borough.
Eight illegally sublet properties were recovered and dozens of solid leads to illegal sublets were generated.
The amnesty also uncovered a number of cases involving benefit and council tax fraud, which are now being investigated by the council and Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).
The Mayor of Tower Hamlets, John Biggs said: “At a time when council housing is in short supply, it is unfair that a minority of people are trying to cheat the system. I am grateful to everyone who helped us identify illegal sublets in Tower Hamlets. We are committed to stamping out fraud and ensuring housing goes to those who abide by the rules.”
Statutory Deputy Mayor of Tower Hamlets, Councillor Sirajul Islam added:
”There are thousands of people who are waiting for social housing. We will continue to use all of our powers to ensure that our properties are available for those who need them most.”
The Office of National Statistics estimate that an illegal sublet can cost the council £18,000 per year.
Prosecution can lead to a fine of up to £5,000 or a prison sentence of up to two years.