Tenancy Fraud - taking action | Latest news

Tenancy Fraud - taking action

As members of the Tenancy Fraud Forum, we’ve been involved in the Tenancy Fraud Awareness Week campaign.

Tenancy Fraud is when someone lies on an application to receive a social housing property, sublets their property or does not live in their social house as their main home. The National Fraud Authority have estimated the cost of tenancy fraud to be £900 million.

Sam Lloyd-Jones, Tenancy Enforcement Officer tells us more

“The Trust is really pleased to support Fraud Awareness Week, with our partners from the national Tenancy Fraud Forum. Tenancy Fraud (also known as Social Housing Fraud) is the use of social housing by someone who is not entitled to occupy that home.

“It includes subletting, providing false information as part of a tenancy application, not using the property as the main home, and Right-to-Buy fraud. It is not a victimless crime – properties which are used fraudulently are not available for people in genuine need, including those who are homeless or in temporary accommodation.

“Nationally it’s a huge problem at a time when homelessness is on the increase and many families on housing waiting lists may never be offered social housing. We would encourage anyone to contact us if they know of or suspect anyone in our properties is committing tenancy fraud.

We take Tenancy Fraud very seriously, here is a case we’ve recently tackled -

A tenant in Winsford moved out but failed to give notice to end their tenancy. Eventually they told us they were living in Ellesmere Port. They admitted that knew that the property should be used by someone in housing need locally, but did not give notice to end the tenancy.

We tried to engage, but they were reluctant to end the tenancy as they thought it could impact bidding for properties in the Ellesmere Port area. We then contacted the DWP about benefit fraud and the Tenancy Team served Notice to Quit as they had not lived in the home for months and had no intention of returning to the property.

The tenant said they would return the keys but failed to do so, therefore the Trust changed the locks and took back possession of the property. The three-bedroom house was sitting empty for months, when it could have been used by a family in genuine need.

To report tenancy fraud visit Tenancy Team

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