Crawley Borough Council has offered a two-month amnesty to anyone committing tenancy fraud in local authority owned housing.
Hand the keys back in July or August and no questions will be asked, the borough council has announced on its website.
Crawley cabinet member for housing, cllr Stephen Joyce said: ‘We don’t expect this amnesty to deliver huge results but even one or two properties made available will make the world of difference to those who get to live in them. The amnesty could also make a big difference to those that take advantage of it, meaning they avoid a prison sentence of up to two years for the most serious offences.’
Since 2011, Crawley Borough Council has recovered 70 properties for lawful use following tenancy fraud. Common offences include subletting and failure to declare when moving into another property.
To take advantage of the amnesty, tenants must make sure the property is empty and no one is still living at the address.
Cllr Joyce said: ‘There are many families and individuals in Crawley who are in serious need of council housing support. It’s simply not right for properties to be sitting empty because the tenant has moved in with a partner or is even living elsewhere and making money from renting a council property out.’
The council’s Housing Help Point is offering advice to anyone affected.