13 May 2019

Dealing with unlawful sub-letting

GreenSquare has successfully re-let a home to a family in housing need after tackling a recent case of unlawful sub-letting.

Following an anonymous complaint to GreenSquare in 2018, it was discovered that joint tenants at a property in Calne, Wiltshire, were not living there and were instead unlawfully sub-letting it to another couple who may not be entitled to social housing. One of the tenants was also found to have taken out a mortgage on another property in the area, which she lived in with her husband. 

Ali Owens, the Tenancy Enforcement Officer who investigated this case, said: “We served them legal notices giving them 28 days to either return the keys or we’d make an application for a possession order through the courts”. 

“They tried to say that they were still living at the property but there was clear evidence to show this wasn’t the case following our investigations”.

“In the end the keys were returned to us by the deadline, and the unlawful sub-tenants had vacated the property taking all their belongings”.

“Because we were able to see this investigation through without having to apply to court, it saved us time and money. But the most important outcome was that we were able to re-let this property to a family with a genuine need.”

Ali continues: “Affordable housing is in such huge demand across the country, so it is important to us that those who live in our homes are legally entitled to be there. Unfortunately there are those who abuse the system, meaning that properties are not being used for the benefit of those who really need them.”

Any GreenSquare tenant who unlawfully sub-lets their property is breaching their tenancy agreement and will face losing their tenancy. Tenancy fraud can also lead to prosecution under the Prevention of Social Housing Fraud Act 2013, resulting in a significant fine or even prison.

GreenSquare carry out regular tenancy audits and work closely with local authorities and other agencies to share information.

Anyone with any concerns to raise about possible tenancy fraud in a GreenSquare property should contact the Customer Service team in the first instance on 01249 465465 or email info@greensquaregroup.com All reports are dealt with in the strictest confidence.