Paul Shamplina, founder of Landlord Action, a company specialising in tenant eviction, comments on the latest Government proposal to make sub-letting council houses a criminal offence, with offenders facing up to two years in prison.
Paul comments, "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. 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 end tenant is not actually aware the property is being illegally sub-let.
"There is a severe shortage of social housing in this country but if enforcement is carried out as a result of this law change, then hopefully this will go some way to freeing up council properties for those who are truly in need. Of course, councils being made aware of such cases and having the ability to throw resources at the investigation process in order to enforce this law will be key to combating the issue.
"Hopefully, imprisonment of up to two years as well as a hefty fine will act as a deterrent to those greedy "wannabe landlords" who continue to flout the system."