July 24 2014 Latest news:
Friday, April 4, 2014
Tenants illegally subletting their home have the chance to hand over their keys without prosecution during the council’s April amnesty.
Tough new government rules mean those who let their council owned property without permission could face a prison sentence and a fine.
But in an attempt to clamp down on the problem, Havering Council are allowing people to come forward without punishment.
The Prevention of Social Housing Fraud Act 2013, introduced in October, created a new criminal offence of social housing fraud with a fine of up to £5,000 for a first offence, while a second could lead to a jail term of up to two years.
Cabinet member for housing, Cllr Lesley Kelly, said: “We take a zero tolerance approach to fraud of all kinds but this month long amnesty will give us the chance to recover properties that we might not have otherwise been aware of and get them back into use.”
Tenants who would like to hand in their keys should bring ID during business hours to:
• Homes and Housing Empty Homes Office, 48 Farnham Road, Harold Hill
• The PASC (Public Advice and Service Centre), 20-26 The Liberty, Romford RM1 3RL
If you suspect someone is letting out their council property illegally, contact the Council anonymously on 01708 432405.
Visit havering.gov.uk/keyamnesty for more.