Tackling tenancy fraud

What is tenancy fraud?

We want to ensure that our homes are available to customers with a genuine housing need and that those living in our properties are legally entitled to be there. Tenancy fraud prevents us from doing that and we want to put a stop to it.

In the last two years, we recovered 7 properties from tenancy fraud which meant we could rent them to people in real need of social housing.

Tenancy fraud is a crime

Tenancy Fraud includes sub-letting and taking over someone’s tenancy when you’re not entitled to. It’s illegal and the consequences include eviction, a possible fine of up to £5,000 or imprisonment.

More than that, tenancy fraud prevents people who need homes from finding affordable places to live and it costs UK taxpayers billions of pounds every year.

Types of tenancy fraud

Unlawful subletting – this is where a tenant rents out their home without the knowledge or permission of the landlord.  This also includes temporary subletting, moving out of a property and allowing family or friends to live in it, and selling the keys to a property.

Wrongly claimed succession – when a tenancy is unlawfully taken over e.g. where the tenant dies and someone tries to take over or succeed the tenancy when they are not entitled to do so.

False Right to Buy – this is where a tenant makes a Right to Buy or Right to Acquire application and gives false information in their application.

Key selling – this is when a tenant is paid to pass on their keys in return for a one-off payment.

Unlawful assignment – this is where a tenant stops using their tenancy as their main or principal home, allowing another person to live there without permission from the landlord.

Obtaining housing by deception – this is where a person gets a home by giving false information on their housing application.

If you’re an Onward tenant and subletting your home, this is a breach of your tenancy agreement and it is against the law.

Report it

If you suspect someone is committing tenancy fraud near you, it’s important you report it.

Please include as much information as possible to help with our investigation. Any information you provide is confidential and handled in the strictest confidence.

Using the information you provide, we will investigate the allegation using information from other sources such as other landlords and external agencies which will help us to understand whether tenancy fraud is being committed.