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Housing and tenancy fraud

We have a limited number of homes available to let, so we have to make sure our homes go to those who are legally entitled to them.

If you're waiting for social housing you will have to wait even longer if homes are allocated to, or occupied by those who have no right to be there. 

If you commit housing or tenancy fraud you're depriving other people in genuine need from re-housing and cause direct losses to us. This is because we incur costs to house families in temporary accommodation that could otherwise have been rehoused.

Report housing and tenancy fraud

Report fraud

You don't need to leave your details when giving us the fraud information. If you do want to leave your details, they will be kept in the strictest confidence.

Once you've reported something to us we'll evaluate it to determine whether investigation is appropriate. The more information that we are given the better as this will make the evaluation more comprehensive and the more likely a successful outcome will be. We're not able to comment on on-going investigations and due to Data Protection we are unable to give feedback on any reported allegations, so if you report a suspected fraud, we will not be able to update you on how an investigation is proceeding.

What housing fraud is

Housing fraud happens when you might apply to us for a house and you submit your application with false or misleading information. This would be to gain a tenancy that you wouldn't have otherwise been granted or to gain the tenancy ahead of those in more urgent need.

The following questions may help you help us, but don't worry if you don't know all the answers. Any information you do have could still be useful.

  • Has the person applying for housing got a partner living with them (that they haven't told us about)?
  • Has the person applying for housing lied about the number of children they have?
  • Has the person lied about being homeless or do they already own a property or have a tenancy elsewhere?

What tenancy fraud is

If you have a council house it has always been a breach of tenancy terms and conditions for you to:

  • Part with possession of your property
  • Abandon the property
  • Fail to occupy the property as your principal home

You can also be committing tenancy fraud if:

  • You sub-let your social house for profit to people who aren't allowed to live in the property under the terms of the tenancy
  • You cease to occupy the property, allowing relatives or other people to take on the property
  • You fail to use the property as your main home, selling the key to a third party
  • You lie about living in a property for the qualifying period in order to gain the tenancy of a tenant who has died

The following questions may help you help us but don't worry if you don't know all the answers. Any information you do have could still be useful.

  • Has the person moved in with a partner and left their adult children in the property or let their home to someone else?
  • Has the person relocated due to work and started letting out their home?
  • Have your neighbours moved out recently or, do your neighbours change more frequently than would be considered reasonable?
  • Has the property been abandoned?
  • Has the person gone to live abroad?

Right to buy fraud

Right to buy fraud happens when you might apply for a discount to purchase your council home and you:

  • Give us false information
  • Have unlawfully applied for the discount where the property has been subject to tenancy fraud such as sub-letting
  • Have entered into an agreement with a third party to buy the property on your behalf for a cash incentive

There are companies and individuals that offer tenants money to apply to buy the home on your behalf. You must not enter into this type of deal. Some tenants have ended up homeless through this. If you enter into this type of agreement, you will have to repay the discount. Any money that you make is unlikely to be enough to buy another home, and we will not provide you with another tenancy.

What happens if you're found out

If you're suspected of fraud you could:

  • Be interviewed under caution
  • Be arrested and have your property searched by Police

Where it is proven that you have:

  • Made false statements to us
  • Failed to report changes in circumstances that have resulted in you gaining a council tenancy
  • Failed to report changes in circumstances that have resulted in you gaining a larger property
  • Sub-let for profit
  • Parted with possession of your council property
  • Abandoned your property

We will:

  • Remove you from the housing register
  • Evict you from the property
  • Give you a caution
  • Apply for an unlawful profit order – civil proceedings
  • Start prosecution
  • Apply for an unlawful profit order – criminal proceedings
  • Confiscate property and assets under the Proceeds of Crime Act.