Tackling Tenancy Fraud

Tenancy fraud occurs when one of our homes is occupied by someone who is not legally entitled to be there. It's estimated that tenancy-related fraud costs the tax payer billions of pounds every year.

Across the UK it is estimated that thousands of housing association and council homes are occupied by someone who shouldn’t live there or have obtained the tenancy fraudulently.

What is tenancy fraud? 

There are different types of tenancy fraud. Here are some of the most common ones:

  • 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 when 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 RBH. 
  • Obtaining housing by deception - where a person gets a home by giving false information on their housing application

Why it's important to tackle tenancy fraud

Social housing is a valuable asset to the public and often a lifeline to the people it's meant for given the desperate shortage of affordable homes. Housing associations like RBH have to make sure that they make the best use of the homes they own and ensure that the people living there are legally entitled to be there. People who are already in need of social housing and on the waiting list will have to wait even longer if homes continue to be occupied by people who have no right to live there.

What RBH does to tackle tenancy fraud

We take tenancy fraud very seriously and will take action to regain possession of properties and recover any unlawful profits made by residents wherever we find evidence of tenancy fraud. Our right to do this has been enforced by the government in The Prevention of Social Housing Fraud Act 2013.

RBH will carry out regular tenancy audits and complete profiling forms as part of our letting and housing management activities to make sure that the right people are living in our homes. 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.

What you can do to help

Do you know someone in a home who is renting it out without permission, got their home by giving false information or is living somewhere else (someone else may be living at the home or it may be empty)? Then they could potentially be committing housing fraud, using up valuable housing accommodation and depriving families and vulnerable people who are on the waiting list. 

Get in touch with us about tenancy fraud:

Any information you give us will be treated in the strictest confidence and your identity will be protected. You can report the suspected fraud anonymously but please give us as much information as possible to help our investigations. The more information that we have the better the chance we have of stopping it.