Council crack down on tenancy fraud

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East Riding Council’s fraud investigation team and housing department are working together to target those people who are committing tenancy fraud.

As part of the Yorkshire and Humber tenancy fraud awareness week, which runs until tomorrow (5 February), social landlords such as the council are joining forces to shine a spotlight on tenancy fraud and encourage the public to report tenancy cheats.

A new change in the law in 2013, means it is now illegal to abandon or sublet a social housing property without permission and the fraud investigation and housing team have been tackling this area of fraud.

In 2015, the council conducted 90 tenancy fraud investigations and as a result, recovered 22 properties no longer occupied by council tenants.

They have also stopped five people being offered a home as their homeless applications contained false information.

Andy Hardy, fraud investigation manager at East Riding Council, said: “We are urging anyone who suspects tenancy fraud to report it as it’s not right and it’s not fair.

“When someone with a council home rents it out without permission or obtains a home by providing false information they are guilty of tenancy fraud.

“They are taking up valuable housing space and depriving families and vulnerable people on the waiting list and that’s not fair.”

“Whilst most of our homes are let to excellent tenants, we are determined to continue cracking down on the small minority who sublet or make fraudulent claims.

“Our council homes are for those in genuine need of affordable and good quality homes as our long waiting lists show only too clearly.

“We will always investigate information received to ensure this remains the case.

“We need to make the best use of the housing we have available. I would encourage members of the public to come forward, report their suspicions to the council’s fraud investigation team and blow the whistle on housing cheats.”

Anyone wishing to report someone they suspect of committing tenancy fraud or any other fraud in the East Riding, can call, in confidence, 01482 394949 or email tenancyfraud@eastriding.gov.uk

All reports of tenancy fraud will be treated in utmost confidence.