A crackdown on social housing residents in Aylesbury Vale who commit tenancy fraud is being featured in a BBC series.
Council House Crackdown highlights the growing problem of housing fraud around the country – the most common types being unlawful subletting, obtaining housing by deception and wrongly claimed succession.
There can be serious consequences, as those found guilty of fraud may receive a large fine, or in some cases, a prison sentence, and the perpetrator may also be required to pay back any money they gained.
The Vale of Aylesbury Housing Trust’s investigators appear in the series alongside their counterparts from around the UK.
The trust said they are often alerted to a possible fraud via an associated complaint, for example reports of anti-social behaviour.
Following an amnesty in October 2015, when people using their tenancy inappropriately had the opportunity to hand their keys in and no further action would be taken, the trust said it has taken a ‘hard line’ on possible fraud.
There have been a ‘number of investigations that have resulted in regaining possession of the property and reallocating it to a family in housing need’.
Masaud Subedar, head of community services added: “Social housing is a valuable resource and there is a chronic shortage of affordable homes both in the Vale and nationally. We have adopted a zero tolerance approach and we are committed to tackling fraud. Our investigators do an excellent job of identifying potential cases and piecing together the evidence available to them to enable us to recover the property and reallocate it to a family in housing need. I am delighted we have been able to work with the team on Council House Crackdown to show this serious issue. It has helped us send a strong message to people who misuse their tenancy.”
Council House Crackdown runs on BBC One from 9.15am, each morning until Friday 3 June.