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Development for Social Housing Fraud

Last week we blogged about the proposal that the Housing Minister, Grant Shapps, was to make it illegal for landlords to sublet their homes with punishments such as two years imprisonment and a hefty fine included in the plans. Well this week, there has been a further development on the story, as it seems that it’s not just us here at PropertyQuoteDirect that agree with the proposed plans!

Backing for Plans

Paul Shamplina, of Landlord Action, has said that he is fully behind the plans as he is often called in by landlords in order to evict problem tenants, only to discover that the actual problem is the landlords, rather than the tenants. Furthermore, it is also likely that such landlords would be operating without a landlord insurance quote.

Mr Shamplina has been quoted saying: “This is an extremely positive step in combating long-term abuse of the social housing system. There have been a growing number of tenants acting as landlords by sub-letting their council properties for their own financial gain, and this is to the detriment of thousands of other vulnerable people.”

Paul Shamplina then went on to add: “In the past, we have experienced ‘landlords’ seeking our assistance to evict their tenant, only to find out that the property is not in fact theirs and the ‘tenant’ is not actually aware the property is being illegally sub-let. Hopefully, imprisonment of up to two years as well as a hefty fine will act as a deterrent.”

Further Powers

In addition to these measures, it has also been revealed that local councils will be given more powers to further investigate any particular incidents where such fraudulent behaviour is suspected through an increased amount of access to data from banks and utility companies.

So far it has been the case that councils can request data but organisations can refuse to provide it. However, if these new measures were indeed put in place, then organisations would have to comply with council requests.

If there are any further developments on these proposed plans, we will deliver them here, on this very blog!

By Simon Dack