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TENANTS TO BE TESTED

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Wandsworth LBC tenants could soon be means-tested, and required to provide proof of identity and reapply for their ...
Wandsworth LBC tenants could soon be means-tested, and required to provide proof of identity and reapply for their lease every seven years.

The council's housing committee, due to meet in November, is expected to approve Conservative plans to prevent tenants occupying properties indefinitely or fraudulently.

'The reason for these proposals is that we have a large stock of housing, 21,500 tenanted properties, and it is a scarce resource,' said housing chair Margaret Mervis.

'It is also a subsidised benefit and we think it can be targeted towards those in most need. The way people get into council housing is a lottery and the prize is a home for life. At the moment you can win that prize without giving any information about who you are or what you earn.'

Wandsworth should be able to introduce identity checks and means testing in the next six months, as neither require a change in law.

The council will be lobbying the government for legislation to introduce seven year tenancies and it would means test and require identification from tenants at the start of each new lease, if this went ahead.

'We want to introduce means testing because people's circumstances change throughout their lives but we only means test them when they acquire a tenancy. At the moment, their heir can inherit that tenancy,' said Ms Mervis.

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