Tenancy cheats live elsewhere and can earn thousands of pounds a year by unlawfully subletting their properties at higher rental rates. If caught, they will usually lose their tenancy and could lose their right to social housing in future.
Those occupying these properties may not know about the fraud – but 80 per cent do not qualify for a council or housing association home, and instead have to find a new home through the private rented sector.
Mr Healey launched the first-ever national crackdown on tenancy cheats in December, including a £500 reward for anyone whose information leads to the recovery of one of the first 1000 homes.
Since then councils and housing associations have recovered around 350 homes, nearly half of which have already been re-allocated to those in real need.
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