Tenants illegally sub-letting their council homes in Swansea will face no action - but only if they take part in a new 'key amnesty' initiative. (h/t Tenancy Fraud)
The Swansea Council scheme, which is being held throughout February and March, is aimed at cracking down on what authority leaders call "unacceptable" tenancy fraud.
From April onwards however, the council says it will push for maximum sentences in the courts, which could see offenders given up to two years in prison, issued fines of up to £50,000 as well as other costs.
The sub-letting of social housing is unlawful and involves tenants who rent out their home and live elsewhere.
Andrea Lewis, cabinet member for next generation services, said: "Tenancy fraud is unacceptable. It can mean that vulnerable families waiting for a property are waiting longer on the housing register than they need to be. People living in unlawfully sub-let properties also often pay large amounts in rent without any security.
"Although the problem here in Swansea is nowhere near as widespread as in other parts of the UK, we're determined to take action to cut down on waiting lists for council homes and help tackle the lack of affordable housing across the city.
"Key amnesties have been successful in other local authority areas, with many properties having been recovered as a direct result and those in genuine need being housed more quickly.
"We'd urge anyone who is committing tenancy fraud in Swansea to surrender their tenancies now because that will avoid the council taking legal action against them."
"Key amnesties have been successful in other local authority areas". Indeed. What took Swansea so long?