What is housing fraud?
Housing fraud is where a Council-owned property is not occupied by the person who is supposed to be there. Examples would be a tenant who sub-lets their property without permission, or who moves out while pretending to still be in occupation, or gives false information to obtain a tenancy.
Why is housing fraud important?
There are a large number of people awaiting housing in Sutton, some of whom are living in very poor or overcrowded conditions. Fraudulent use of social housing stops these people from being re-housed more quickly.
What does Sutton Housing Partnership do about housing fraud?
We investigate all cases where a fraud is suspected. We may visit and ask to see identification, and run checks to see if the person in occupation has a right to be there. We will always take action to recover a property where there is evidence of unlawful subletting. During the period January 2010 to January 2013 some 78 properties have been recovered as a result of our investigations.
What will happen to someone committing housing fraud?
They will almost certainly lose their right to a Council property. We may seek to recover the money they have gained unlawfully, as well as legal costs and damages. The law has recently been changed to make tenancy fraud an offence, so criminal prosecution may follow.
How do I report housing fraud?
If you think a Council-owned property may be occupied by someone who shouldn't be there, you can contact us in confidence on 020 8915 2000 during working hours, or if you want to leave a message ring our hotline on 020 8915 2459. You can also make a report via email at email@example.com
Any tenant who unlawfully sublets their property is likely to lose their tenancy