29 March 2018

Second amnesty tackling council tenancy fraud

People committing tenancy fraud in council housing and temporary accommodation have another chance to avoid legal action by handing their property back during a second amnesty being run by Brighton & Hove City Council.

The tenancy fraud amnesty begins on 3 April and tenants illegally subletting their homes or keeping a social housing tenancy while living elsewhere, have until 31 May to return their properties to the council without fear of further action.

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

Keys can be handed in at:

Bartholomew House, Bartholomew Square, Brighton, BN1 1JE
Portslade Town Hall, Victoria Road, Portslade, BN41 1YF
Whitehawk Community Hub, 179a Whitehawk Road, Brighton, BN2 5FL
Lavender Street Housing Office, Lavender Street, Brighton BN2 1JU 

National figures suggest that tenancy fraud costs the public purse £18,000 a year for each property. With the high costs of housing people in temporary accommodation in the city, the savings for Brighton & Hove are likely to be significantly more.

Six families were rehomed following the first tenancy fraud amnesty run between December 2016 and January 2017. The six homes returned through the amnesty were two three-bedroom, two two-bedroom and two one-bedroom properties.

Councillor Anne Meadows, Chair of the Housing & 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.”

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.