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3 Feb 2020

North East campaign highlights the cost of housing fraud

The financial and social impact of housing fraud will come under the spotlight as part of a regional awareness campaign.

Housing fraud is the third biggest type of fraud affecting councils in the UK, costing local authorities £135.6m in 2018/2019. It can also contribute to problems such as anti-social behaviour and vandalism within communities.

The North East Tenancy Fraud Forum will lead a social media campaign to raise awareness of the different types of housing fraud and to encourage members of the public to report their suspicions.

Types of housing fraud

  • Unlawful subletting - where a tenant lets out their council or housing association home without the knowledge or permission of their landlord;
  • Abandonment - where a tenant parts possession with their socially rented property, has no intention to return and does not inform the landlord;
  • Right to Buy/Acquire - where a tenant has applied for or completed the purchase of a socially rented home under the Right to Buy/Right to Acquire Scheme when they are not entitled, or misrepresented their circumstances to gain a discount;
  • Wrongly claimed succession - where a tenant dies or moves out and someone, who is not entitled to, tries to take over or succeed the tenancy;
  • Unlawful assignment - where a resident stops using their tenancy as their main or principal home, allowing another person to live there without permission;
  • Key selling - where a tenant is paid to pass on their keys in return for a one-off payment.

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