The Royal Borough’s Corporate Investigation Group (CIG) works closely with the TMO and Housing Associations across the borough in order to prevent, detect and deter tenancy fraud.
What is housing and tenancy fraud?
Housing fraud involves obtaining properties by deception. For example, people claiming to be homeless when they already own a property or are already living at an address. Tenancy fraud is the fraudulent use social housing such as sub-letting for profit or continuing to claim to be living at a property when they have moved out and have since sublet it.
The Council has a duty to house certain vulnerable members of society, and are often forced to use temporary accommodation outside the Royal Borough due to a shortage of housing.
In addition, families or individuals on the housing waiting list are denied housing because people are using properties for profit. Fraudulently obtaining affordable housing or subletting for personal gain uses up valuable resources that should be available to families in need.
Since 2010 over 100 properties have been recovered and several other cases are currently being dealt with by TMO and Housing Association solicitors.
Here’s a selection of cases which have been successfully investigated:
Investigations into an alleged abandoned property unearthed a new address in the Kent area for the tenant. Following a taped interview the tenant admitted vacating the address without notifying the TMO, or without notifying the Housing Benefit Department who had continued to pay her rent. A Notice to Quit was served and the property was subsequently recovered, along with a housing benefit overpayment of £3,150.
Following the death of the tenant in SW3, the tenant’s son had made a Succession Application stating that he had been resident at the address, however, investigations identified an alternative address for the son along with evidence of his residency there.
Confronted with the information the son withdrew his application.
Help us crackdown on fraudsters
If you have information regarding tenancy fraud, you can speak in confidence to the Corporate Investigation Group on 020 7361 2777, use our Fraud Reporting form email us direct at: firstname.lastname@example.org