Cheeky council tenants are subletting their homes on Airbnb for up to £500 a week in Milton Keynes, investigation reveals
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Unscrupulous council tenants in MK have been subletting their homes on platforms such as Airbnb for up to £500 a week, an investigation has revealed.
Milton Keynes City Council identified18 council-owned homes where the official tenants were living elsewhere and profiting from subletting.
And they have now punished them by taking back their properties and giving them instead to families in need of housing.
It is a criminal offence for a tenant to sublet a property owned by a local authority or housing association in the UK and culprits can be fined by the courts or even sent to prison for up to two years.
MK City Council launched its special investigation earlier this year and identified a string of properties being let as holiday homes or short stay facilities.
A spokesperson said: “The investigation found that 18 council tenants were profiting from the properties, with homes being advertised on platforms such as Airbnb. In one particular case, a property was being advertised as a holiday home with people being charged £500 per week.
“Since then, MK City Council has returned the properties back into proper use to families in need.”
The council is now encouraging anyone who thinks a property might be being unlawfully sublet to report it by calling 01908 252937 or emailing [email protected].
Cabinet Member for Adults, Housing and Healthy Communities, Cllr Emily Darlington, said: “Subletting our homes and depriving a family actually in need of the property is illegal and we will not tolerate it.”
She added: “ My thanks go out to city council who carried out the investigations and returned these properties back to families that need them. We’ll continue carrying out further investigations and won’t hesitate to take action.”
Earlier this year a West Midlands council revealed it had prevented more than £1.6m of social housing fraud in the past two years, including illegal subletting of properties and fraudulent Right to Buy applications.
Figures presented to Wolverhampton Council’s audit and risk committee revealed that 30 cases of social housing fraud were stopped between 2021 and 2023,