Salix Homes has launched a campaign to clampdown on fraudsters.
The Salford-based housing association has launched the campaign for International Fraud Week (Nov 11-17) to target and reduce the impact of tenancy fraud, which is estimated to cost the public around £900m every year.
Anne-Marie Bancroft, tenancy specialist at Salix Homes, said: “Tenancy fraud can take many forms, from illegal subletting and not using it as your main home, to obtaining a property by deception or the fraudulent purchase of a social housing property through the misuse of the Right to Buy scheme.
“At a time of a housing crisis, and with 7,000 people on the housing waiting list in Salford alone, it is crucial that housing fraud is taken seriously to ensure that the people living in social housing are legally entitled to be there.
“As a not-for-profit organisation, it is not right that some unscrupulous individuals are profiting from the homes we let, and for every home that is being used fraudulently, means once less home available for people in genuine housing need.”
To mark International Fraud Awareness Week, Salix Homes is encouraging staff and tenants to lookout for signs of tenancy fraud and to report if they see it.
Throughout the period, Salix Homes officers will be ramping up their investigations by conducting spot-checks and tenancy audits at people’s homes.
Salix Homes has dealt with more than 60 cases of suspected tenancy fraud.
In 2017, its officers uncovered three cases of the misuse of the Right to Buy Scheme, which allows tenants to purchase their homes at a significant discount if they’ve habited the property for more than three years.