Prevention of Social Housing Fraud Act 2013 (PoSHFA)
In 2013 the Government recognised that subletting is a serious problem in the UK, particularly in London and the South East. Prevention of Social Housing Fraud Act 2013 made subletting a criminal offence. You can be prosecuted, face a prison sentence, and a criminal record.
What is tenancy fraud?
There are different types of tenancy fraud. Examples include:
- Unlawful subletting - When a tenant moves out and rents out their home without our permission. This includes tenants who move out of their property leaving other family members living in the property.
- Getting a tenancy by giving false information - This is when a tenant gets a tenancy by giving false information in their application. For example, they don't tell us they already have a tenancy elsewhere or own a home.
- Non occupation - Every tenant must use our property as their only or principle home. It is a breach of tenancy if they fail to occupy our property in this way. Or do not notify the landlord of intended absences over three months
- Misrepresenting information to exercise the Right to Buy or Right to Acquire - Some tenants are able to buy their home through the Right to Buy scheme. These schemes allow tenants to buy their homes at a discount. It's a form of tenancy fraud if:
- The tenant isn't using our property as their main home
- The tenant provides false information such as the length of a joint applicant's occupation in our home.
- We also require all applicants to complete a supplementary form, and provide evidence how they intend to purchase the property, we have to protect the public purse.
- Abandonment – when a tenant moves out of the property, leaving the property empty