Council tenants illegally subletting their homes are being given the chance to hand back the keys without prosecution.
Oxford City Council is giving the fraudsters two months to come clean before they face prosecution.
The anti-subletting amnesty runs from today until the end of October and is backed by housing associations Green Square Group, Catalyst Housing and Jephson Housing Association Group.
The council said tenants who give back keys will not be prosecuted under the new Prevention of Social Housing Fraud Act 2013.
Illegal subletting of social housing became a criminal offence last year and can carry up to a two-year prison sentence and a fine of up to £50,000.
Previously, tenants caught subletting were only required to return the keys.
Oxford City Council said illegal subletting is hitting taxpayers as the authority often has to put people in temporary homes because of a lack of properties.
Executive board member for housing and estate regeneration Scott Seamons, said: “I am pleased that housing association partners are joining us in this campaign as tenancy fraud steals a property from a family who are homeless or in urgent need of an affordable home.
“We want residents to come forward and report any suspected illegal subletting.”
In the last three years the council’s housing investigation team has received back 50 properties from people who were subletting their homes.
More than 54 allegations of sub-letting are also being investigated and, since November 2011, 282 cases have been opened.
Contact the fraud team at firstname.lastname@example.org or 01865 252025.
- Do you want alerts delivered straight to your phone via our WhatsApp service? Text NEWS or SPORT or NEWS AND SPORT, depending on which services you want, and your full name to 07767 417704. Save our number into your phone's contacts as Oxford Mail WhatsApp and ensure you have WhatsApp installed.
Send your Letter to the Editor: What do you think? We welcome letters from our readers on a wide variety of subjects and you can send us a letter for publication here
11:20am Monday 28th July 2014
What do you think? We welcome letters from our readers on a wide variety of subjects and you can send us a letter through the blue headline above.
Our top stories
6:10am Tuesday 21st April 2015
THE trust that will manage the primary school in the new Barton Park development was decided by councillors yesterday.
5:30am Tuesday 21st April 2015
A HOMELESS man given an anti-social behaviour order for trying to spread tuberculosis (TB) has gone on trial in Oxford Crown Court.
8:08am Monday 20th April 2015
THE manager of Oxford’s Randolph Hotel has said the fire caused millions of pounds of damage.
8:00am Monday 20th April 2015
FIRE crews were expected to return the flame-stricken Randolph Hotel to management today after spending the weekend making the building safe.
3:05pm Monday 20th April 2015
BEAUMONT Street is set to partly reopen later today after engineers assessed damage to the Randolph Hotel following Friday’s fire.
3:21pm Monday 20th April 2015
THE jury has retired to consider its verdict in the trial of a woman who denies fatally stabbing her boyfriend in a drunken rage.