Squatters and unauthorised occupants

Tell us that a council home is being squatted in.

If you suspect that a council property:

  • Is being squatted in
  • Is not being used by the legal tenant (sub-let)
  • Has been abandoned

You can report it in confidence to us by emailing HLOTeam@newham.gov.uk or phoning 020 3373 3267.

Preventing squatting and illegal occupants in our homes

Inspecting our homes

We check our council homes to make sure that they are occupied by the rightful tenants and other conditions of the tenancy are being met, such as keeping your garden tidy.

The officer who visits you will ask you questions such as your date of birth and the relationship between the tenant and other members of the household.

You will also be asked for:

  • Your signature(s) which will then be checked against the tenancy agreement that you signed
  • Proof of identification for every member of the household, such as: birth certificate, National Insurance number, passport
  • Proof of residency, such as: utility bills, bank statements, benefit books, TV licence.

We do not accept:

  • Medical cards
  • Rent cards
  • Council Tax bills or anything else Newham Council may have sent.

The officer will ask to look around your home to make sure it is not sub-let.


We take photographs of all new tenants and will ask to take a photograph as part of our audit visit, if we have not done so before.

The photographs will be stored on a secure file and will be used in the future for identification purposes.

We will not ask you for photos of your children or other household members, as we only need a photograph of each tenant.


If we believe a council tenant is sub-letting or not occupying his or her home we may carry out surveillance to gather evidence for court proceedings.

In 2013 the law with regard to sub-letting or not using a council tenancy as your principle home changed and it can now be treated as a criminal offence.

If you commit housing fraud, you are likely to not only lose your tenancy, you could also lose your right to council housing in the future.

Housing fraud includes not telling the truth when applying for a council property and sub-letting without permission. Depending on how serious the fraud is, you could also be fined or sent to prison.

Find out more about how we investigate fraud.