Council’s tenancy fraud crackdown

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Three sets of keys have been handed in during a Lewes District Council crackdown on tenancy fraud.

Tenants of Lewes District Council who are committing tenancy fraud have had the chance to hand back their keys to Lewes District Council as part of its “no questions asked” key amnesty that came to an end on February 28.

The key amnesty campaign, that started last November, has been successful in raising awareness that a criminal offence can be committed when tenancy fraud is carried out. As a result a number of referrals of potential tenancy fraud were investigated and three sets of keys were returned to the council.

Councillor Ron Maskell, Lead Member for Housing at Lewes District Council, said: “I urge tenants to continue to come forward if they have information of tenancy fraud, or if they want to return their keys to the council if they now realise they have been committing tenancy fraud.

“Any tenants found illegally subletting their council home could face up to two years in prison and a fine of up to £50,000 and will have to pay back any profit they have made. Tenancy fraud stops people with a real need from accessing a home.”)S

Anyone who hands in their keys to end their tenancy before February 29 will not have legal action taken against them. Keys should be placed in an envelope, with the property address clearly marked and placed in the “Key Amnesty” box in the main reception area of the council offices in Southover House, Southover Road, Lewes, BN7 1AB.

Immediately after February 28, the council will be taking the necessary action against tenants within the district who it suspects is committing tenancy fraud.

If you know of, or would like to report someone you suspect is committing tenancy fraud, you can report this anonymously to the Lewes District Council Housing Team on 01273 484261, email tenancyfraud@lewes.gov.uk or complete the online form at www.lewes.gov.uk.

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