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Tenancy Fraud

Published on 02 November 2022

Tenancy Fraud is something we’d like your help with.

What is tenancy fraud?

It is against the law to sublet a property and live somewhere else. This type of fraud could be:

  • Unlawful subletting – a customer rents out their home without their landlord’s knowledge or permission
  • Housing by deception – a person gets a home by giving incorrect information on their housing application
  • Wrongly claimed succession – where a resident dies and someone tries to take over or succeed the tenancy when they are not entitled to
  • Key selling – a resident is paid to pass on their keys in return for payment
  • Unlawful assignment – a resident stops using their tenancy as their main or principal home, they then allow another person to live there without the landlord’s permission
  • False Right to Buy/Right to Acquire – a customer or resident makes a Right to Buy or Right to Acquire application and gives incorrect information in their application.

What are the signs of tenancy fraud?

Please tell us if:

  • you know someone has another tenancy somewhere else
  • you see unfamiliar people coming and going from a property
  • suspect that someone is not using their home as they should be
  • you notice unusual activity at a property such as people coming and going with suitcases or large bags.

If you would like to tell us something you are concerned about please contact us on 01772 667002.

What we do to help stop tenancy fraud?

  • We will verify our customers’ identities
  • We will carry out home visits and property inspections
  • We work in partnership with other agencies and fraud units
  • We raise awareness of tenancy fraud with our customers

Is tenancy fraud a criminal offence?

Yes. If a customer is found to be committing tenancy fraud, Places for People have the right to take action to evict them

A court can order that any monetary profit from the fraud is paid back to Places for People and the customer can be prosecuted for related criminal offences. They will be considered intentionally homeless by their action and this may make it difficult for them to secure a new place to live.

Our customers must live in the home they rent from us as their main home. Event renting their home out for short periods of time is not allowed. Customers can ask in writing for approval to take in a lodger whilst they remain in the home, however they cannot sublet their whole home to someone else.

How can I talk to someone about tenancy fraud?

For more information on tenancy fraud or to report something you are concerned about please contact us on 01772 667002 and speak to one of our colleagues who specialises in this.

Please use this form to submit any activity you feel may be linked to Tenancy Fraud. Tenancy Fraud could be any of the following: 
  • Subletting without permission;
  • Providing false information on applications for housing;
  • Wrongful tenancy assignment and succession;
  • Failing to use the property as the principal home;
  • Right to Buy/Right to Acquire fraud;
  • Abandoning it without proper process; and
  • Selling the keys to someone else.

Tenancy Fraud referral form

We want your to be comfortable with reporting tenancy fraud, the below form can be filled out completely anonymously.

Would you like us to feedback to you on this matter?