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Tenancy fraud

We take tenancy fraud very seriously. If someone lives in a property that they aren't entitled to, those on our waiting list and most in need of social housing have to wait longer to be housed.

Type of tenancy fraud

We will carry out home visits to our tenants on a periodic basis, verifying personal identification for those living in the property to ensure tenancy information is still correct. There are different types of tenancy fraud. Here are some of the most common examples:

  • Application fraud/obtaining housing by deception - where a person is allocated a home by giving false information on their housing application or does not inform us of changes in their circumstances
  • Unlawful subletting - where a tenant rents out all, or part of their home, without the knowledge or permission of the landlord
  • Unlawful or unauthorised succession - where the resident dies and the 'successor' either does not declare their succession, or they try to succeed when they are not entitled to
  • Abandonment/unlawful assignment- where a resident stops using their tenancy as their main or principal home, possibly allowing another person to live there without permission
  • Key selling - where a resident is paid to move out and pass on their keys to someone else in return for a one-off payment
  • False Right to Buy- where a tenant/resident makes a Right to Buy or Right to Acquire application and gives false information in their application which affects their eligibility.

If you leave your property for more than 28 days, you must inform your housing officer. Similarly if your circumstances change, you should also inform us.

If you suspect tenancy fraud is being committed, please let us know. Tenancy fraud is a criminal offence and we will treat all reports very seriously. You can give us information anonymously, but in all cases, information provided will be treated in the strictest confidence and your identity will be protected. Please try to give as much information as possible to help our investigations. The more information that we have, the better the chance we have of stopping it. Unfortunately, we won't be able to update you on the outcome of our investigation(s).

The Prevention of Social Housing Fraud Act 2013 made tenancy fraud a criminal offence. It provides substantial penalties of up to two years' imprisonment, unlawful profit orders and fines. If you are caught, at the very least you are likely to lose your tenancy and may lose your right to social housing in the future. Please be aware of the tenancy fraud offences and do not put yourself in the position of breaking the law.