Can you have a council house and not live in it?
As a council tenant, you must live in your council house and you cannot simply have a council house and not live in it.
Council houses are in very high demand and it is a civil offence to sublet your council house. It is also fraudulent to own a council house whilst owning other property or being ina position to own other property.
The council house fraud in the UK is expected to cause the taxpayer over £13.5bn per year with over 750,000 current council tenants likely renting from the council on a fraudulent basis.
There are just over 3.8 million council homes in the UK and a further 1.8million people on waiting lists across the UK looking for affordable housing.
Having a council house and not living in it is clearly not the right thing to do.
As a council tenant, you must inform your council when you are not in your councilhouse for more than 42 days. This could be because of an illness etc but you are generally not allowed to leave your council house unoccupied for more than 42 days.
The council may have the right o evict you from the council house if they can prove that you fraudulently got your council house. This could be because you lied on your council application or hid your true circumstances from the council.
As a council tenant you can not simply give your tenancy to someone who isn’t eligible for a council tenancy and then not live in the council house.
You must receive written approval from the council before doing such.
Is subletting a council house illegal?
Subletting a council house can in some cases be illegal based on what sort of tenancy agreement you have and who your landlord is.
Subletting a council house is a very serious offence as you may be in breach of your tenancy agreement and this could potentially cause you to lose the home.
If your landlord is a local authority landlord then the criminal offences of unlawful subletting apply to you if you have a secure tenancy or a flexible tenancy in England.
The offences do not apply to you if your landlord is a local authority and you have an introductory tenancy, a demoted tenancy or a family intervention tenancy.
If your landlord is a housing association landlord then the criminal offences of unlawful subletting apply to you if you have a secure, assured, assured shorthold or a demoted assured shorthold tenancy but do not apply to you live in a shared ownership property or have a family intervemtion tenancy.
Can I get a council house if I own a property?
It is very unlikely you will be able to get a council house if you own a property except in special circumstances.
Each council has their own policy on if they will be able to rent to you or not but most make it a condition that you are notable to own or rent without the help of the council so it is unlikely you can get a council house if you own property.
How long can you leave your council house empty?
You can usuually only leave your council house empty for 42 days and anything beyond this point you must inform your council if notyou may risk losing your council house.
If you need financial advice and you live in the UK then you could contact the Money Advice service over the phone or via chat for impartial advice.
You can also contact the debt charity “Step Change” if you are in debt and need help.