There are around 98,000 council or housing association homes in England that are occupied by someone who shouldn’t be living there or who has obtained the tenancy fraudulently.
It is a criminal offence for tenants to commit housing fraud. This can involve:
- Sub-letting or giving up a property to someone else without your landlord’s permission
- Leaving the property empty and not telling the council you have left
- Passing on the keys to someone else for a one-off payment
- Obtaining the property by deception by failing to disclose your full, correct details and personal circumstances when applying for social housing
- Wrongly claiming succession rights by trying to take over the tenancy when you are not entitled to
The maximum penalty for housing fraud is up to two years in prison and a fine up to £50,000.
There is not enough social housing to meet the needs of people who genuinely need it, so we have to make sure our homes go to those who are legally entitled to them. People waiting for social housing will have to wait even longer if homes are occupied by those who have no right to be there
You can complete our online form if you think someone is committing tenancy fraud, or phone the fraud hotline number in confidence on 0800 021 3262, or email us.
You can also report benefit fraud on the same number.