Next Episode of Council House Crackdown is
Season 4 / Episode 10 and airs on 21 September 2018 08:15
Presenter Michelle Ackerley and property expert Luke Doonan follow investigators as they crack down on rogue social housing tenants, seize their homes and give them to families in genuine need.
Michelle reveals how one property owner is brought to justice after managing to get his hands on not one, not two, but three social housing properties in three different council areas. Croydon Council launches an investigation into the tenant and the full scale of the fraud begins to emerge. Housing officers discover the tenant was also the part-owner of two other properties.
Meanwhile, in Lincolnshire housing officers finally get their hands on the keys to a three-bedroom house that's been lying empty for more than a year. And in Aylesbury, noise complaints prompt a father to give back the keys to a property he's no longer living in and his teenage son has been using.
A 60-year-old grandmother appears in court after illegally subletting her council flat in a tenancy fraud spanning eight years. And bailiffs move in to repossess a housing association property after a mother and her young child mysteriously disappear. Three weeks later the flat is allocated to a man who's been sleeping rough for the past two years.
And Michelle reveals how a tenant who was cheating the system gave himself away by giving an interview to his local newspaper.
Tensions run high as investigators race between two addresses and carry out simultaneous door knocks in a carefully planned operation. They investigate a suspected unlawful sublet and want to find out exactly who is living at each address. With the official tenants and the suspected subtenants each telling different stories, the situation becomes fraught and the police are called in.
In another case, investigators reveal how one woman applied for a council property using the identity of a baby who was born 50 years ago but who died in infancy. She is also found to have claimed more than £150,000 in benefits using the same false identity.
And Michelle reveals how one Greenwich council tenant was actually living hundreds of miles away in Norway. Investigators trick the tenant into coming back to the UK so they can confront him. The council property is searched, the tenant is arrested and charged with fraud by false representation.
Housing fraud investigators are joined by the police as they reclaim a flat which they suspect is no longer occupied by the official tenant. Their suspicions prove to be well founded. It turns out that the official tenant is nowhere to be found and the flat is now being occupied by a pop singer who hit the charts back in the 1970s. He's questioned by the police and the property is repossessed.
Michelle also reveals how one social housing tenant moved to Greece but, instead of giving the keys back, he passed the property onto his daughter in breach of his tenancy.
Meanwhile, investigators in Lambeth, south London, pay a surprise visit to one of their council flats - only to discover that the tenants who are supposed to be living there moved to Portugal nine years ago.
Housing investigators catch out a married man who pretends to be single so that he can keep his housing association flat for his teenage son, and a convicted criminal who has been lining his pockets by subletting his social housing property whilst serving time behind bars.
In the West Midlands, investigators reveal how a woman who owned two properties claimed she and her children were homeless in order to get a council house in upmarket Solihull. She was considered a high priority and was allocated a substantial three-bedroom council house. But a tip-off from a member of the public raises suspicions and her story begins to unravel. The rogue tenant is evicted and her property empire collapses.
Today, Michelle reveals how one tenant used four identities and two social housing flats to rake in more than £300,000 in unlawful profits. Cameras follow bailiffs and locksmiths as they seize back a one-bedroom flat in central London, which the tenant has been renting out from behind bars.
Meanwhile, housing officers track down a tenant living it up in Lagos, Nigeria, and using her valuable social housing property as a holiday flat for friends and relatives. Officers serve the tenant with a Notice to Quit while she celebrates a family wedding in the Caribbean.
In Oxford, Michelle reveals how CCTV cameras capture a rogue tenant red-handed as he moves furniture back into his flat to make it look as if he still lives there.
Today, investigators catch up with a woman who applied for and got two social housing properties - and unlawfully sublet them while she was living in a third property. She even managed to buy one of the council properties at a huge discount under the Right to Buy scheme.
Michelle tells us how this tenant on the take was rumbled by housing fraud investigators at the Royal Borough of Greenwich, and how her property portfolio came crashing down when she was jailed and forced to pay back £160,000.
In a separate case, investigators claim back a property they suspect is being sublet in one of London's busiest tourist hot spots - but they're shocked when they discover the state the property has been left in. Tax payers now face a £20,000 bill for repairs before the property can be allocated to new tenants off the housing waiting list.
While most are honest, the amount of money some social housing tenants are making by unlawfully subletting is shocking. In this episode, Michelle tells us how one rogue tenant was using a middleman to act as an 'agent' and was charging subtenants up to three times the amount she was actually paying in rent. When housing officers visit the property, they find five adults living in the lounge and two bedrooms - and not one of them was the official tenant.
Today, housing investigators are following up tip-offs and pounding the streets of one of London's most fashionable and expensive residential areas, Primrose Hill. And Michelle reveals how the vigilance of one housing officer put investigators on the trail of a tenant who has been living in France whilst unlawfully subletting her council flat. The flat has now been recovered and allocated to a single mother who's been on the waiting list for more than seven years.
In another case, cameras are with an eviction team, including bailiff and locksmith, as they move in to repossess a flat that has been unlawfully sublet. Investigators discover the official tenant is a convicted criminal and is serving a jail sentence.
Today, investigators are on the trail of a long-standing social housing tenant who's been cheating the system and lining her pockets whilst living thousands of miles away in Colombia, South America. Michelle discovers how housing association investigators closed down this lucrative subletting scam and got the property back.
And we meet a family who finally get the home of their dreams thanks to a successful breach-of-tenancy investigation. The family of three had previously been crammed into a one-bedroom flat and on the waiting list for a two-bedroom property. Now, at long last, 11-year-old Adam has a bedroom all of his own.
In a separate case, Michelle discovers how one social housing tenant moved from London's East End to America's West Coast - but instead of giving the keys to her flat back to the housing association, she gave them to a friend who then proceeded to advertise the flat for rent on a holiday home website.
Today, Michelle reveals how one tenant has been unlawfully subletting his central London flat whilst living and working in Las Vegas. Meanwhile, another council tenant, who was working as a psychic medium, didn't see it coming when housing investigators turned up at his flat unannounced and discovered it was undergoing major renovation work. He was planning to buy the flat at a knock-down price, under the Right to Buy scheme, even though he wasn't actually living there.
And in Oxford, a council tenant was unlawfully subletting his property whilst on a five-month holiday visiting his girlfriend in Thailand. He inadvertently shopped himself by complaining to the council when the people renting from him didn't pay the full amount.
Looks like something went completely wrong!
But don't worry - it can happen to the best of us,
- and it just happened to you.
Please try again later or contact us.