With social housing in short supply, it is important that our homes are only lived in by the people they are intended for. Sadly, this is not always the case. Here, we explain what tenancy fraud is and why we need to tackle it.
What is tenancy fraud?
Fraud is when someone lies or hides the truth to get a home that they have no right to live in. Tenancy fraud is a big problem as it prevents those with genuine housing needs from gaining access to social housing. This stops them from enjoying the security of a tenancy with us.
The different types of tenancy fraud:
- This is the most common type of fraud we see. Tenants will let out their property without our knowledge or permission. They will continue to pay us rent but will charge the person they are subletting to a much higher rate. Tenants often sublet to family or friends - but this is still tenancy fraud
- When a tenant does not use our property as their main home. We often see this when a customer moves in with a partner but keeps our property as a second home.
Key selling -
- This is when a tenant passes on their keys to someone who takes over their tenancy illegally, usually in return for a one-off payment.
- This is when a person gets a property by giving false information in their application. For example, they might claim to have more people living with them or they may not reveal that they are letting out a property they own.
What are we doing to tackle fraud?
Our Tenancy Services Team - Neighbourhood Officers and Independent Living Officers - are trained to look out for and to investigate suspected tenancy fraud.
We carry out regular tenancy checks and other checks to make sure that the right people are living in our properties, and we respond to reports from other tenants, members of the public or other organisations.
The vast majority of our tenancies are fine and above board. But where there is a suspected tenancy fraud, we will work with other fraud teams within the Council, the police, and any other partners so we can piece together evidence and determine whether fraud is being committed.
I think a neighbour is committing fraud
Fraud is damaging. It can lead to an increase in antisocial behaviour, cause financial loss and prevent someone who really needs a home from getting one.
Please contact us if you think that a neighbour living in one of our homes may be committing fraud. If you are not sure but have a suspicion, you should still report it to us. Please give us as much information as possible so we can investigate thoroughly.
We will always take reports of fraud seriously and you will remain anonymous - We will never share your details with the person you have reported.