Tenancy fraud

Tenancy fraud happens when someone lives in a social rented home that wasn’t allocated to them.

What is tenancy fraud?

It’s illegal and unfair, because it means there’s fewer homes for people who need them and have been waiting for them.

There are lots of different kinds of tenancy fraud, including:

  • Sub-letting or parting with possession
    When a tenant rents out all or part of their home without our permission
  • Non-occupation or abandonment
    When a tenant uses their home for a business or unlawfully lets it out instead of living in it
  • Unlawful assignment
    When someone stops using their property as their main and principal home, but leaves someone else in occupation. This could be a parent moving out and leaving a friend or family member living there; or if the tenant dies and someone else keeps living there without telling us.
  • Key selling
    When a tenant moves out and sells their key to someone else
  • False application
    When a tenant knowingly gives us false information when applying for a home
  • Abandoning the property
    When a tenant stops living at their home and leaves it, but does so without telling us.
  • Keeping a social rented home when you own another property.

Tenancy or benefit fraud?

If the person living in the house is not the tenant, they could be committing tenancy fraud. If the person living in the house hasn’t declared everyone living there and their circumstances, they could also be committing benefit fraud.

Benefit fraud should be reported to your local benefit fraud team.

How do we deal with tenancy fraud?

Our tenancy fraud team work closely with external agencies and local partners to detect and prevent tenancy fraud.

We investigated 449 cases and recovered 22* properties in 2020/21. That’s 22 families that we could offer homes to who need them.

*This number is significantly lower over the last 12 months as a result of the pandemic and the impacts of this on tenancy fraud investigations and the Courts system.

You can read our tenancy fraud policy here.

How can you help?

If you suspect tenancy fraud, you can report it to us using the form below.

Your information will be dealt with in confidence. If you provide your details, we might contact you to get more information to help us tackle the tenancy fraud, and we’ll keep you updated about what happens.

  • If you know it
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  • Your details