Tackling Tenancy Fraud
Across the UK it is estimated that tens of thousands of housing association and council homes are occupied by someone who shouldn't live there or have obtained the tenancy fraudulently.
What is tenancy fraud?
There are different types of housing fraud. Here are some of the most common ones:
Subletting - this is where a tenant lets out their home without the knowledge or permission of their landlord. They will continue to pay the rent directly to their landlord, but charge the person they are subletting to a much higher rate. This is a criminal offence and the person doing it could receive a prison sentence and/or a large fine.
Not living in the property as their principle home - this includes when the tenant moves in with a partner but keeps the property 'just in case' things don't work out, or when the tenant leaves adult children living in the property.
Obtaining housing by deception - is where a person has got a Swan home by giving false information, for example telling the council they are homeless or lying about household members in their application
Wrongly claimed succession - is where a tenant dies and someone, who is not entitled to, tries to take over or succeed the tenancy. For example, they might say they lived with the tenant before they died, when in fact they were living elsewhere.
Key selling - is where a tenant has been paid to give someone else their keys.
There isn't enough social housing for people who genuinely need it. We have to make the best use of the housing that is available and make sure it is occupied by those who are legally entitled to live there.
We take tenancy fraud very seriously and will take action to regain possession of properties wherever we find evidence of tenancy fraud. We carry out regular investigations to check that the correct people are living in our properties.
How can you help?
If you suspect someone is committing tenancy fraud, please let us know. It could make a home available to a family in real need.
You can report your suspicions direct to our Fraud and Tenancy Officer on 0300 303 2500 or you can by email firstname.lastname@example.org .
All information received will be taken seriously and treated in the strictest confidence.
Please click here if you would like information on our Rental Exchange scheme, which involves sharing rental payment history with Experian, to allow tenants with a history of little or no credit, to build a credit score and an online identity.