Report subletting or housing fraud

We want to ensure only people in genuine housing need live in our homes, so if we suspect tenancy fraud we will tackle it.

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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

What's the overall impact?

  • We lose much needed social housing to the private sector
  • Longer waiting lists for residents wanting to move home
  • Unlawful occupants living in poor housing conditions
  • Expensive repairs when the unauthorised occupant moves out.

How can I report tenancy fraud?

If you suspect a tenant is committing tenancy fraud, please report it. You can do this by contacting our Tenancy Fraud hotline on 020 8583 3777 or email. We will keep your identity confidential.

What will we do?

The Housing Investigation team investigate all reports of tenancy fraud and take action where we have sufficient evidence.

Since July 2010 our Housing Investigation team have recovered 351 properties.

Housing Officers also work with residents, other council services and the police to ensure we're making best use of our homes.

Action we'll take against tenancy fraud

If we have evidence a tenant has committed tenancy fraud we will:

  • Seek to prosecute at court. It is a criminal offence to commit tenancy fraud. The prevention of Social Housing Fraud Act 2013 carries a sentence of up to 2 years and/or a fine up to £5000.
  • We can make a claim for any profit made from tenancy fraud to be repaid to the council.
  • We will make a claim for possession of their home through the courts.
  • Make a claim for any rent arrears and legal costs.
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