There was a bit of national coverage earlier this week as the Government announced that they were considering making it illegal to sub-let a council house. The argument goes that this activity makes it more difficult for those on the housing register to get a property.
I've been chasing up to find out what Cornwall Council does to ensure that this isn't a problem here. Today we got a lot of information from Jane Barlow, the Head of Housing, to whom I'm very grateful.
Cornwall Council says that the last time they had a case of sub-letting was more than 10 years ago and they believe that they have a good network of housing officers as well as lots of inquiries from other tenants so they do not believe they have a problem. I think this attitude is a little complacent but was gratified to find that the authority also co-ordinates with applications for housing benefit and with other databases to keep tabs to ensure that illicit sub-letting doesn't happen.
There are thousands of people in Cornwall on the register waiting for social housing. In many cases they are desperate for new homes. I'm grateful that the council is taking action to ensure that these families are not being held up by illicit sub-letting.