Tenancy fraud is on the rise. Illegal subletting, abandoned homes and wrongly claimed discounts and successions are just some of the more common scams that we need to stop.
Taking fraud seriously
There is a housing crisis and a general shortage of housing, so it’s important that we take tenancy fraud seriously.
Across the UK, it’s estimated that thousands of housing association homes are occupied by someone who shouldn't live there or have obtained the tenancy fraudulently.
We take a zero tolerance approach to Tenancy Fraud and so we have teamed up with social landlords from around the region and the police, sharing experience and knowledge to help find the best possible way to stop fraud happening.
What is tenancy fraud?
There are different types of tenancy fraud including:
- unlawful subletting - where a tenant rents out their home without the knowledge or permission of the landlord
- wrongly claimed succession - where the resident dies and someone tries to take over or succeed the tenancy which they are not entitled to
- false Right To Buy/Right To Acquire - where a tenant resident makes a Right to Buy or Right to Acquire application and gives false information in their application
- key selling - where a resident is paid to pass on their keys in return for a one-off payment
- unlawful assignment - where a resident stops using their tenancy as their main or principal home, allowing another person to live there without permission from Rooftop.
- obtaining housing by deception - where a person gets a home by giving false information on their housing application.
Why is tenancy fraud so serious?
We are committed to providing safe and secure housing for our customers and we are building as many as we can. But we we can’t build an endless supply, so that’s why we are closing in on fraudsters, investigating every report, prosecuting individuals and recovering properties to give to families in need of affordable housing.
Tenancy fraud means that you have lied to get a property or are getting others to paying you rent and making a healthy profit, leaving the ‘tenant’ with little or no guarantee of safety or security.
Quite simply it is morally wrong and against the law, you may be fined or sent to prison if the fraud is serious.
What we are doing to tackle tenancy fraud
As part of Rooftop Housing Group's housing management we carry out regular property MOT's to make sure that the right people are living in our 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.
This collaboration has allowed us to join two new groups; the Mercian Tenancy Fraud Forum and The Gloucestershire Tenancy Fraud Forum. As part of these groups we share experience and knowledge to help find the best possible way to stop fraud happening.
Housing tenancy fraud is not a victimless crime – it stops homes being let to those in need, it costs money, and stops new homes being built... no one wins.
If you see or hear anything suspicious, please get in touch, We need you to help us to stamp it out.
If you suspect someone of committing tenancy fraud, you must tell us so that we can do something about it. Your report will be taken in confidence and we will not use, or share your details with anyone without your permission.
If you think you are in one of our properties illegally – contact us to talk about your options as we may be able to help.
When you sign your tenancy agreement you are agreeing to pay your rent on time and to not fall into arrears.
The Money Advisors at Rooftop can provide help and support with getting the right benefit entitlements.
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