Subletting a council property

What you can and can't do when subletting.

What you can't do

The Prevention of Social Housing Fraud Act 2013 makes it a criminal offence for council tenants to:

  • sublet all of their council home
  • sublet part of their council home without written permission from us
  • fail to use their council home as their only or main home

You cannot sublet or give up possession of your entire home. If you do, you will lose your secure tenancy and we will take back your home. You can also face prosecution, imprisonment and an unlimited fine. 

We will prosecute any tenant who has caused, or is causing, their tenancy to be used unlawfully in any of these ways. 

What you can do 

If you have a secure tenancy then you have the right to take in lodgers as long as it does not make your home overcrowded, but you must tell your area housing office in writing first. We will not allow you to take in lodgers if you live in a sheltered unit or other form of supported accommodation. 

If you have a secure tenancy then you have the right to sublet part (but not all) of your home but you must have written permission from us first. If you have applied for permission to sublet part of your home, and we have not replied to your request within four weeks, you must assume that we have refused to give you permission. We will refuse permission if it would make your home overcrowded or if we are planning work on your home which would affect the accommodation likely to be used by the lodger or subtenant. 

Important: There are legal differences between a lodger and a subtenant, and you should get advice before renting a room in your home.

Please read our factsheet on taking in a lodger for more information.

Remember: If you do take in a lodger or sublet part of your home, remember that you are responsible for their behaviour. If they cause a nuisance or harass your neighbours, you will be breaking your tenancy and may risk losing your home.

If you have any questions, please contact us.

Contact customer services: housing

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