By using this website, you agree to our use of cookies to enhance your experience.
Graham Awards


Fake private rental property was sub-let by phoney landlord

A London council has revealed that a social housing tenant claimed their property was a private one, and fraudulently sub-let it to innocent renters. 

Lewisham council says its tenancy audit team ended 80 tenancies in the past 12 months that were either sub-let, abandoned or otherwise fraudulent.

In one case, the team was approached by a sub-tenant because their landlord - who in fact was renting the property directly from the council - had fraudulently let it out and the. evicted the renters from the property. 


The sub-tenant in this case became aware of the property through friends and believed it was a private one for rent. Following a dispute, they were told to leave the property without notice.

They contacted the council which helped the innocent renters collect their belongings; the council then began proceedings to take possession of the property.

Now the council is appealing to its own tenants to ‘grass’ on neighbours who may be fraudulently sub-letting.

A statement from the council says “our experience shows that residents are best placed to know what is taking place on the estates they live on.”

Want to comment on this story? Our focus is on providing a platform for you to share your insights and views and we welcome contributions.
If any post is considered to victimise, harass, degrade or intimidate an individual or group of individuals, then the post may be deleted and the individual immediately banned from posting in future.
Please help us by reporting comments you consider to be unduly offensive so we can review and take action if necessary. Thank you.

  • icon

    Sub-letting will become much more common when lifetime tenancies are introduced. Apparently this is common in Sweden with tenants making a lot of money this way. Landlords will need to e vigilant and regularly inspect their properties.

  • John  Adams

    The solution may simply be to put a small sign on the building stating that it's property of the Council....
    This scam however has been operating for a long time in various forms including Tourists being handed the keys to Air BnBs and other properties or simply scammed out of a deposit for non existing homes. It's a problem that's extremely difficult to tackle whilst people use casual advertising sites to find accommodation.

  • icon

    This is not new. This was happening in social housing when I worked in it thirty years ago! Then the private rented sector was tiny, mainly shared houses, and ASTs were introduced to boost the PRS!


    Goes on a lot and has done so for years

  • icon

    If they get caught 👮🏻‍♀️ Then they should have a lifetime ban on access to any other social properties.

  • icon

    Course they won’t get banned from social housing, it’s their human rights being abused


Please login to comment

MovePal MovePal MovePal
sign up