This awareness week is drawing attention to the problem of tenancy fraud, which is when someone is living in a home they shouldn’t be. Tenancy Fraud is illegal and people doing it could go to prison or receive a fine of up to £5,000.
It’s a big problem - it’s estimated that 1 in every 100 social homes are being lived in illegally. And 1.15 million people are waiting for a social home. So, people committing tenancy fraud are stopping others from getting the homes they deserve.
We’re holding a key amnesty next week which gives any customers committing tenancy fraud the chance to surrender their tenancies, with no questions asked and no penalty. Just get in touch with us to discuss the next steps. Or if you think you’ve been unknowingly renting a home from one of our customers, please get in touch and we’ll do our best to get you the help and support you need to find a new home.
Do you think you know someone who is committing tenancy fraud?
Please get in touch with us so we can look into it.
While tenancy fraud’s not always easy to spot, there are some tell-tale signs that might give people away:
• A sudden change in who is living in the home
• Someone being vague about who lives in the property or what their relationship is to them
• Increased anti-social behaviour at the property
• If your neighbour has passed away and a friend or family member is now living in the home
• The property seems to have been abandoned
• Your neighbour is talking about their landlord as a person, rather than a housing association or council.
Tenancy fraud can include a few different things
• Unlawful subletting – when a customer rents out their home without our permission or knowledge
• Abandonment – when a customer abandons their home and hasn’t told us that they’re not returning to it
• Wrongly claimed succession - when a customer dies and someone tries to take over the tenancy when they’re not entitled to
• False Right to Buy/Right to Acquire – when a customer makes a Right to Buy or Right to Acquire application and gives false information
• Key selling - when a customer sells their keys to someone for a lump sum payment
• Getting a house by deception - using false information to gain a social housing home
• People can be victims of tenancy fraud without knowing, and be paying more for a home which they could be eligible for through social housing.