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Social Housing

Volume 542: debated on Monday 12 March 2012

We have set out proposals to give social landlords the tools to identify and recover properties that have been subject to fraudulent activity via sub-letting.

I am grateful to my right hon. Friend for his answer. What support can his Department give to local authorities to stop the abusive activity of illegal sub-letting and of those who over-occupy their social tenancy homes, perhaps with friends or family?

My hon. Friend is absolutely right to point to the scale of the problem, which is enormous, perhaps a multi-billion pound per annum scandal, and this Government are absolutely determined to crack down on it. I introduced a consultation on sub-letting, stating that our preferred option is to criminalise the activity. We intend to do exactly what is outlined in the consultation and, in doing so, to end the scandal that means that such homes do not go to the people who rightly need them.