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Homes illegally advertised as short lets returned to family use

A clampdown has found 18 council homes were being unlawfully sublet on Airbnb and other short let platforms.

The investigation led by Milton Keynes council found that 18 social housing tenants were profiting from the properties, with homes advertised on platforms such as Airbnb. 

In one case, a property was being advertised as a holiday home with people being charged £500 per week.


Since then, MK council has returned the properties back into proper use to families in need.

It is illegal for council tenants to sublet their properties under any circumstances and MK council is now urging anyone with information about other examples to come forward.

“Subletting our homes and depriving a family actually in need of the property is illegal and we will not tolerate it … We’ll continue carrying out further investigations and won’t hesitate to take action” says a spokesperson for the authority.

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  • icon

    This re-letting has been going on for years. Partly because social rents are artificially low, leaving a large potential profit margin for an unscrupulous tenant. Shortfalls in income should be accommodated by the benefit system, as it is in the private sector, not by publicly subsidised social housing for a few.
    The allocation of subsidised social housing is a major distortion of the rental market, with those who have a social housing property, rarely giving them up, even when they can afford to or no longer need multi bed family homes.
    These properties should only be for those in genuine need. I have many tenants who are out of work for different reasons, yet have to pay the market rent, whilst there are many who are working who live in subsidised housing. Not all social housing tenants could afford to move, but some can afford to. Maybe this should be means tested, as the rest of the benefit system is?

  • Peter Why Do I Bother

    This is why the councils want them off their books and into landlords who they can then slap senseless with regulation and taxes because they cannot do their jobs.

  • Nic  Kaz

    What penalties were leveraged on these subletting crooks? None I guess, otherwise they would have publicised the prosecutions as a deterrent - just had the properties taken back and kept their profits….

  • icon

    Nic, it’s rampant its what happens when landlords are Left with no control, say anything to Council and you’ll get fined.

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    The point I was making Council Properties that are being sub-let which is terrible no wonder some Councils have 18’000 waiting trying to get on the Council’s. I wonder how many are genuine. This is not just Council properties that are being Sub-let its private landlords has the same massive problem not helped by Council’s poking their noses in. and excluding landlords from the property or Tenants claiming harassment.

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    I have some friends who I believe wrongly claim a council house. One is a publican a who owns her own pub, earning well, with a 2 bed apartment upstairs. This apartment is rented out, the publican claims and occupies a council flat, her daughter also claims a council house even though she earns good money as the assistant manager of the pub.
    If the council sorted who they rent to, ie those who shouldn’t be entitled, those who sublet etc then they would not be in the stiff they are in now


    A past leader of Norwich city Council used to enjoy the subsidized rent of a council house as do many well paid union leaders, stinks doesn't it

  • icon

    SO how much are criminal councils being fined for failing to control illegal subletting by their tenants ??

  • icon

    John Chart ruminates:

    If this story were shown to Polly Neate and Generation Rant - and they were informed that there are several rogue landlords who are in fact TENANTS - they would no doubt call this hate speech !


    Well said, John, but they would still find a way to blame the PRS.


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