SOME tenants are subletting their homes for financial gain but a housing chief does not believe that it is a big problem in Worcestershire.

Worcester Community Housing already takes action against those who breach tenancy rules but the number who sublet any of the organisation’s 5,000 properties at any one time is said to be low.

This comes after Housing Minister Grant Shapps said it was a “scandal” that abuse of the council and housing association sectors was costing taxpayers between £5 billion and £10 billion a year.

The Government wants tenants who sublet to face prosecution and the coalition is launching consultations ahead of legislation.

It is not currently an offence to sublet a council house – a loophole that lets about 160,000 tenants move out and take rent from someone else – but Iain Harkess, head of operations at Worcester Community Housing, said tenancy agreements say clearly they should not do it.

“If we know someone is subletting we treat that as a breach of tenancy conditions and like any other breach we use appropriate measures which can result in repossession through the courts if necessary,” he said.

In Worcester more than 4,100 people are on the housing waiting list.