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Posted 08 February 2017

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Tenants blow the whistle on fraud

Tenants are urged to blow the whistle on people they believe are committing tenancy fraud as part of a regional awareness campaign.

From 6-10 February, landlords across the Yorkshire & Humber region are joining forces to shine a spotlight on tenancy fraud to encourage residents to come forward & report any issues they are aware of.

Claire Coyle, Tenancy Enforcement Manager at Ongo Homes, said: “Tenancy cheats are preventing genuine tenants from living in our homes. This is why we’re supporting this week of action and I would encourage people who have information to talk to us.

“We take fraud very seriously and take preventative measures at the start of the tenancy to check a resident’s identification."

Tenancy fraud is when a council or housing association home is obtained by deception or where the property is misused, wrongly occupied or not occupied at all. 

The majority of people living in social housing do so honestly and there are very few problems with tenancy fraud. But when it happens, it needs tackling straight away.

Once a property is sublet or unlawfully occupied there is a much greater risk of it being used for illegal purposes and for local noise and nuisance.  

Across the UK it is estimated 98,000 housing association or council homes are occupied by someone who should not live there. They may have obtained their tenancy fraudulently either by unlawful subletting; obtaining a home by deception or wrongly claiming succession after someone dies. It’s also fraud to leave a property empty while you live somewhere else as you are stopping someone else from living in that home.

How do I report tenancy fraud?

Get in touch with us by calling 01724 279900 or email enquiries@ongo.co.uk.

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) is also responsible for investigating housing benefit fraud.  If you think someone is committing housing benefit fraud, you can report it online to the DWP by visiting their website www.gov.uk/report-benefit-fraud

You can also call the National Fraud Hotline on 0800 854 4400. All calls are treated in confidence.

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