Tackling Tenancy Fraud
Newham Council take a zero tolerance approach to tenancy fraud.
The current demand for Social Housing outweighs the number of available properties, as the number of those in need and temporary accommodation increase; we are doing all we can to ensure that the right people are in the right homes.
In 2013 the Government recognised that unlawful subletting is a serious problem in the UK, particularly in London and the South East. The Prevention of Social Housing Fraud Act 2013 was introduced and made unlawful subletting a criminal offence.
Tenants are committing fraud if they have a tenancy with the council but live elsewhere and sublet the property to another person (including family members). Tenancy fraud also includes providing false information when applying for housing, exercising the Right to Buy and illegally applying to succeed a tenancy of someone who has died.
If prosecuted you could face a prison sentence of 2 years and/or a fine of up to £50,000.
The impact of tenancy fraud
The impact of tenancy fraud means that those in need of social housing have to wait longer to be housed, we lose our stock to the private rental sector, we have high temporary accommodation costs and often can have expensive repairs when unauthorised occupants move out.
Action we take against tenancy fraud
The Fraud Team will investigate all allegations of tenancy fraud and take action where we have sufficient evidence that fraud has taken place.
This action can include a criminal prosecution and/or a claim for possession of the property through civil courts; we will always look to make a claim for any legal costs occurred as well as any relevant compensation due.