Monday 10th August 2020
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23/10/2019 - Key Amnesty for November 2019

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Miniature keys and house

Give back your key and we won’t take any legal action!

Tenants who break the rules and cheat others out of a home are being given a chance to change their ways and avoid being prosecuted.

Throughout November we're giving tenants the chance to end their tenancy, give us vacant possession and return the keys, to the property that they have no right to - in return they won't face legal action of any kind.

This type of tenancy fraud is a very serious matter and we're becoming increasingly successful at prosecuting cheats who:

  • defraud the local authority
  • disadvantage those with genuine needs

The penalties can be severe, with a jail term of up to two years and fines of up to £50,000 possible

Our increasingly sophisticated monitoring systems enable us to identify some of the most basic forms of fraud including:

  • lying about circumstances in order to rent a home you wouldn’t otherwise be entitled to
  • subletting a home by moving out completely and charging other family members, another family or friends rent on the home
  • falsely claiming to have been living in the house for a number of years after a tenant dies, pretending to have been caring for the former tenant, in order to be given the tenancy
  • abandoning the property without telling us

However it's done, tenancy fraud is a very serious issue, it restricts the amount of housing available for those with a genuine need.

It also wastes council tax payers’ money because we have to provide people still on the list with temporary accommodation.

The amnesty is a chance to avoid the consequences of being caught by coming forward voluntarily.

Tenants who wish to avoid the severe consequences of their actions can hand back their keys and terminate the tenancy by going to the below address or click here to submit a termination form

Town Hall, George Street, Luton, LU1 2BQ

A dedicated email address has been set up for you to ask questions or provide information that can help us tackle tenancy fraud

Email: [email protected]

What happens when the amnesty is over?

We'll continue to work with the shared anti fraud service at Hertfordshire County Council to investigate and take action against those committing tenancy fraud.

Last year a total of 21 properties were recovered, including fraudulent 'Right to Buy' applications, this was due to the work of the housing team and the fraud service.

Some of the information in these cases was provided by other tenants and members of the public who knew that subletting or abandonment was taking place and wanted it stopped.

We're currently taking legal action against two tenants for suspected tenancy fraud and have two further cases where possession has been granted by the court and we're awaiting eviction.

In the month of October we were successful in getting a court order for possession of a two bed property where the tenant had been subletting, the tenant has to pay court costs of £11,200.

For the month of November only, give us vacant possession, return your keys, and end the tenancy, we will not take any legal action against you.

Any ongoing investigations where legal action is pending will not be included in the amnesty.

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