Published: 29th Oct 2020

Southampton City Council is encouraging anyone who is illegally living in a council property to return their keys next month, without facing criminal proceedings. The local authority will allow fraudsters to return their keys anonymously during the whole month of November – in what’s being called a ‘key amnesty’. All people need to do is enclose their keys in an envelope, attach the property address and drop the keys through the post box of one of the council’s local housing offices. The deadline for the ‘amnesty’ is 30 November, after which enforcement action will return. According to the council, the average waiting time for a three-bedroom council home in Southampton is currently six years. And the government estimates approximately 310 council properties were illegally occupied in the city in 2018. ‘Housing fraud is a national problem and costs cities like Southampton millions of pounds each year; this money could be spent … (To read the full article, subscribe below)