Tenancy fraud

Tenancy fraud is someone illegally living in a property they are not entitled to. It stops people who are waiting for a property from getting a home.

Types of tenancy fraud

You have committed tenancy fraud if you:

  • give false information to get a home
  • withhold changes in your circumstances that would affect your tenancy
  • sublet your home without our permission
  • allow someone else to use your home without our permission
  • use the property as a second home
  • are paid to give your home to someone who is not on the tenancy agreement
  • try to succeed the original tenant who has died but you either do not tell us you have moved in or do not have the right to succeed and knowingly give false information to make it appear as though you do
  • use false information to try to buy a property under Right to Buy

How we try to stop tenancy fraud

We ask everyone for identification when they sign their tenancy agreement. We regularly visit tenants in their homes and confirm the identities of everyone who lives there.

We work with other registered housing providers and agencies to detect tenancy fraud. We do this when we are legally required to or have information-sharing agreements.

Tenancy fraud investigations

We investigate all reports of tenancy fraud.

Because it is a crime, if you are found guilty of tenancy fraud you:

  • will lose your tenancy
  • could lose your right to all social housing
  • could be fined, imprisoned, or fined and imprisoned

If you are found guilty of illegally subletting your home, you can get an unlawful profit order issued against you. This means you will have to pay us any profit you made from subletting your home.

Reporting tenancy fraud

If you think someone in your area is subletting their home or living somewhere else, you can let us know. We will keep your report confidential.

To report tenancy fraud, you can:

Benefits fraud

Benefit fraud is a crime but it is not a type of tenancy fraud. Find out how to report benefit fraud.

National Fraud Initiative

We are part of the National Fraud Initiative that works with other government bodies to detect and prevent fraud.

We send data to the Cabinet Office. They compare and match it with data from other public and private sector bodies to identify and investigate potential fraud. Find out more about the private sector data specifications.

The Cabinet Office’s data matching exercise:

  • is carried out under Part 6 of the Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014
  • does not need an individual’s consent under the Data Protection Act 2018
  • has a Code of Data Matching Practice that makes sure they comply with all relevant laws

Find out more about the National Fraud Initiative and the Code of Data Matching Practice.