£900 million per year – The cost to tax payers from tenancy fraud

Radian, an affordable housing provider is launching a campaign to tackle Tenancy Fraud in properties they own, in order to raise awareness and gain support. Whilst the vast majority of people living in council or housing association homes are in genuine need, it is estimated that through the United Kingdom, tenancy fraud costs the country around £900 million.

More shockingly, those who have used false statements to access social housing, or have moved out of social housing properties and are subletting, have no thought for the families in serious need currently on council waiting lists.

Oona Hickson, Interim Head of Housing at Radian explains: “We have been given new power under the Prevention of Social Housing Fraud Act 2013 to investigate and prosecute fraud, and we now have data matching technology to help us identify where anomalies exist, so we can carry out targeted investigations. If we find fraudulent occupiers or that the property has been illegally sublet, we will take action to recover the property and potentially to prosecute, as this is now a criminal offence. ”

Radian has trained its staff and targeted its activities and this is yielding a number of results. After one tip off, Radian became aware that a three-bedroom family home in Ascot had been obtained by the tenant who lied during the application stage and in fact they owned a property somewhere else. Happily the house has now been recovered and allocated to a family in genuine housing need.

Every newly built affordable home costs around £180,000. Oona expands, “Affordable housing is an important asset for the country as a whole and unfortunately some ruthless people recognise this and want to abuse the system for their own financial gain. We’re determined to tackle it head on and we are asking tenants and others in the community to keep a look out.”

If you have information related to potential tenancy fraud please contact your local council or if it is a Radian property that you are concerned about, call 0300 123 1 567 or e-mail: tenanacyfraud(Replace this parenthesis with the @ sign)radian.co.uk