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  1. ITV Report

Council houses seized back by council after 'widespread abuse'

Many houses have been seized back by London Borough Councils Photo: PA

Over 300 council homes, that were illegally sublet or occupied by fraudsters, have been seized back by one London Council.

The London Borough of Southwark says it has discovered widespread abuse by tenants, who are secretly moving elsewhere and renting out their council homes for profit.

One example was a two-bedroom maisonette owned by Southwark Council in Peckham. It was let to a tenant for around £109 per week.

But authorities discovered he owned a property in Kent and was subletting the Peckham flat, earning himself around £500 per week.

The flat fell into a dilapidated state and the council are now making repairs before letting it to a deserving tenant.

London Borough Councils have seized hundreds of council properties back after discovering some were being illegally sublet or occupied by fraudsters.

ITV News London contacted each London Borough Council to find how widespread the problem is. Below are the Borough Councils that submitted data to us.

  • Bexley has no council properties but has 10,739 people on the waiting list
  • Bromley has no council properties but has 2483 people on the waiting list and 157 evictions
  • Camden has 25,000 council properties and 25,000 people on the waiting list. 581 evictions.
  • City of London, 1,889 council properties and 1,187 people on the waiting list. 2 evictions
  • Croydon, 13,925 council properties, 10617 people on the waiting list. 26 evictions
  • Ealing, 12,893 properties, 11,995 people on waiting list, no evictions
  • Enfield, 11,561 properties, 7068 people on waiting list, 70 evictions
  • Harrow, 4951 properties, 4015 people on waiting list, 78 evictions
  • Havering, 9,000 properties, 13,046 on waiting list, 39 evictions
  • Hillingdon, 10,238 properties, 12,112 on waiting list, 262 evictions
  • Hillingdon, 10,238 properties, 12112 people on waiting list. 262 evictions.
  • Houslow, 13,288 properties, 9,640 people on waiting list. 266 evictions
  • Islington 26,000 properties, 18,000 people on waiting list. 957 evictions
  • Kensington and Chelsea, 10,000 properties, 8,869 people on waiting list. 22 evictions
  • Lambeth 24,724 properties, 18,000 people on waiting list. 132 evictions.
  • Redbridge, 4671 properties, 13,338 people on waiting list. 88 evictions
  • Richmond, 10,000 properties, 4,415 people on waiting list. 36 evictions
  • Southwark 54,000 properties, 20,000 people on waiting list. 1,608 evictions