NORTHUMBERLAND County Council has called for residents to report people they think are illegally subletting council housing.
It says that some social housing tenants rent their home to others without telling the authorities, which means that people at the top of council waiting lists cannot get a place to live.
A study in 2009 suggested that at least 50,000 socially rented homes are sublet illegally. And with 11,000 Northumberland households on social housing waiting lists, officials say that illegal sublets need to be stamped out.
Council Executive Member for Housing Tom Brechany said: “Unlawful subletting deprives people on the waiting list and in genuine housing need from accessing affordable homes, which can mean they have to remain in unsuitable housing for longer.”
Anyone who suspects that a council or social home is being sublet illegally can call Northumberland County Council on 0845 600 6400.