Tackling tenancy fraud

At Onward, we want to ensure that housing is available to those with a genuine housing need and that those living in our properties are legally entitled to be there.

However, tenancy fraud is a UK wide problem that stops people who need homes from finding affordable places to live.

On top of this, tenancy fraud also costs UK taxpayers billions of pounds every year denying housing access to vulnerable members of society including children and families.

As a housing association, we have to make the best use of the homes we own.

People who are already in need of social housing and on the waiting list will have to wait even longer if homes continue to be occupied by people who don’t have the right to live there.

Our aim is to ensure that we make the best use of our housing stock. Tenancy fraud is illegal and unfair, and can mean people in genuine housing need are left waiting longer.

So what exactly is tenancy fraud?

There are many different types of tenancy fraud, some examples include:

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 – this involves when a tenancy is unlawfully taken over e.g. where the resident dies and someone tries to take over or succeed the tenancy which they are not entitled to.

False Right to Buy – this is where a tenant resident 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 resident stops using their tenancy as their main or principal home, allowing another person to live there without permission from Onward

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

How can you help us?

If you suspect someone is committing tenancy fraud, report it to us;

Please include as much information as possible to help with our investigation.

Any information you provide us will be kept confidential at all times and dealt with in the strictest confidence.

What will we do?

Using the information you provide us, we will investigate the allegation using information from other sources such as other landlords and external agencies.

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