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Crackdown on Social Housing Tenancy Fraud: South & East Lincolnshire Councils Partnership and Platform Housing join forces

Posted on 15 May 2024

In a concerted effort to combat social housing tenancy fraud, South & East Lincolnshire Councils Partnership (SELCP) and Platform Housing have joined forces to address instances where housing association properties are being unlawfully occupied or tenants are living elsewhere.

A recent case has highlighted the severity of the issue, where the suspected occupants of a social home were found to have unknowingly been sub-let the property by an individual who was not the tenant, in exchange for cash payments. Further investigation revealed that the actual tenant was residing elsewhere.

A spokesperson for South & East Lincolnshire Councils Partnership, said: "The repercussions of such fraudulent activities extend beyond mere financial implications; they undermine the integrity of the social housing system and compromise the availability of housing for those genuinely in need.

We take such matters seriously and will pursue appropriate legal action to ensure accountability and deterrence."

The suspected benefit fraud which related to housing costs has been referred to the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) for investigation, while the Council Tax Support Fraud is being addressed internally.

Moreover, it was discovered that the tenant in question was listed on the housing register, falsely claiming to reside at the property while actively bidding for social homes elsewhere—a form of fraud that exacerbates the strain on housing resources.

Depending on the severity of the overpayment, individuals found guilty of benefit fraud could face substantial fines or even prosecution by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).

SELCP and Platform Housing Group urge residents to report any suspicions of social housing tenancy fraud promptly. By working together, we can safeguard the integrity of social housing and ensure that resources are allocated fairly and transparently to those who need them most.

Platform Housing Group, said: "This is an example of the impact fraud can have on people who are in genuine need of a home. We are pleased to work in partnership with South & East Lincolnshire Councils Partnership by having robust processes in place ensuring any fraud is dealt with promptly.

To report suspected cases of social housing tenancy fraud, please contact the Department for Work and Pensions, the relevant housing association if known or your local council.