Across the UK it is estimated that 50,000 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:
- unlawful subletting – is where a tenant lets out their council or housing association home without the knowledge or permission of their landlord. They often continue to pay the rent for the property directly to their landlord, but charge the person they are subletting to a much higher rate. It is unlawful and unfair to sublet and to profit from a property which could be given to someone legally entitled to occupy it.
- obtaining housing by deception – is where a person gets a council or housing association home by giving false information in their application, for example not telling the landlord they are renting another council or housing association property or giving false information about who lives with them.
- 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 is paid to pass on their keys in return for a one-off payment
Why is it important to tackle tenancy fraud?
There isn’t enough social housing to meet the needs of people who genuinely need it. We have to make the best use of the housing that is available ensuing that it is occupied by those who are legally entitled to do so. People waiting for social housing will have to wait even longer if homes continue to be occupied by people who have no right to be there
What does Paradigm do to tackle tenancy fraud?
We take tenancy fraud very seriously and will take action to regain possession of properties wherever we find evidence of tenancy fraud.
Paradigm's Housing Officers will carry out regular checks as an integral part of letting and housing management activities to establish that the correct people are going to or are living in properties. We work with other social landlords and statutory agencies to detect fraud where the law requires it or where information sharing protocols are in place.
What can you do to help?
If you suspect someone is a tenancy cheat, please let us know. It could make a big difference to people in real need.
You can either report your suspicions to our Customer Services Team on 0300 303 1010 or directly to your Housing Officer by telephone or by email. Click here to find contact details for your Housing Officer.
All information received will be taken seriously and treated in the strictest confidence.