Chorley Community Housing has welcomed a Government move to give councils sweeping powers to track down tenancy cheats who illegally rent out their homes.
Town halls will be able to demand information from banks, utility firms and phone companies to check if people are actually living elsewhere.
Richard Houghton, director of operations for Chorley Community Housing (CCH), said: “People who have a tenancy with us and let the property out to someone else are breaking the law.
“So we welcome anything that makes it easier for us to track down tenancy cheats and bring them to justice.”
It is thought that 98,000 social homes are currently being illegally occupied in England.
Over the past two years, CCH has recovered seven properties where tenancy fraud was alleged.
Mr Houghton added: “Many tenancy cheats are illegally subletting properties and charging rip-off rents.
“Whilst we do everything we can to catch them out, we rely heavily on members of the public to tip us off on this kind of fraud as they will often know if the people living in the property shouldn’t be there.”
To report someone, call CCH on 0845 505 3355.