Council House Crackdown
Presenter Michelle Ackerley joins housing investigators as they crack down on rogue tenants who are cheating the social housing system and, in many cases, making thousands of pounds in unlawful profits. With towns and cities across the UK in the grip of a housing crisis, it’s vital that every social housing property is given to someone in genuine need. But that isn’t always the case. More than two-thirds of local authorities (69 per cent) now have dedicated teams tackling tenancy fraud and it’s estimated that up to 100,000 properties could be affected. In this series, Michelle examines some of the most outrageous cases.
She meets housing investigators as they root out brazen tenancy cheats, block fraudulent applications and track down those who are making thousands of pounds by unlawfully subletting their social housing properties. Michelle’s parents both grew up in council houses. In this series, she witnesses first-hand the importance of tackling tenancy fraud and sees the tangible difference social housing can make to people’s lives as properties are reclaimed and re-allocated to families off the waiting list in genuine need. Michelle also meets some of the victims of the housing crisis – working families with children living in overcrowded conditions or stuck in temporary accommodation for months, even years, waiting for a suitable home to become available. Under the Prevention of Social Housing Fraud Act,
tenancy fraud is a criminal offence punishable by a fine of up to £50,000 and up to two years in jail.