Local Authority housing is a valuable asset to the public. Selby District Council has to make sure they are making the best use of their homes for the people in greatest need and ensure the people living in them are legally entitled to do so. People who are in need of social housing and are on our waiting list will have to wait even longer for a property if our homes are occupied by people who have no right to be there.
There most common types of housing and tenancy fraud are:
- Application Fraud - obtaining a house by deception - where a person/s gets a home by giving false information on their housing application.
- Not living at the property or non-occupation – As part of a tenancy agreement, the tenant agrees to use their property as their main or principle home. They must not leave the property and allow someone else to live in it. If the tenant are away from their property for more than 28 days they must inform us in writing.
- Unlawful subletting - where a tenant/s rents out their home without the knowledge or permission of Selby District Council – this is a criminal offence.
- Wrongly claimed succession - where the resident dies and someone tries to take over or succeed the tenancy when they are not entitled to.
- Key selling - where a resident/s is paid to pass on their keys in return for a one-off payment.
- False Right To Buy - where a tenant makes a Right to Buy application and gives false information in their application.
Under the Prevention of Social Housing Fraud Act 2013, Council’s have powers of prosecution to take action against offenders. We will take action to regain possession of our properties and this may include court action. If you are prosecuted for subletting you will have to pay back the profits on conviction.
What you can do to help
We are working hard to stop housing fraud and ensure that homes go to the people who need them. Your help in reporting housing fraud is important because you can see what’s going on in your neighbourhood.
Do you know someone who is:
- in a council property who is renting it out without permission?
- got their home by giving false information? (i.e. claiming to have children when they don’t or have a property somewhere else).
- is living somewhere else (someone else may be living at the property or it may be empty)?
If you suspect someone is a housing cheat, let us know as they could potentially be committing tenancy fraud, using up valuable housing accommodation and depriving families and vulnerable people who are on the waiting list. It could make a real difference.
How to report tenancy fraud:
Any information you give us will be treated in the strictest of confidence. You can report the suspected fraud anonymously but please give as much information as possible to help our investigations. The more information that we have the better the chance we have of stopping it.
If you are happy to disclose your contact details then this may help if we need to contact you for more information or to clarify something that you have told us.