Social Housing Fraud

Renting out a council or housing association property without permission from the landlord is fraud.

The government estimates that at least 100,000 social housing properties are the subject of housing fraud.

Social housing fraud includes illegal subletting, where a tenant in social housing breaches the conditions of their tenancy by renting their property out to individuals not permitted to live there, and fraudulently made housing applications.

This type of fraud is a criminal offence – firstly where a social housing tenant sublets or parts with possession of their property or ceases to occupy knowing that it is a breach of tenancy, and secondly where a tenant dishonestly sublets without consent and ceases to occupy their property as their only or principal home in breach of their tenancy agreement. The maximum penalty for the first offence is a fine of £5,000. The second more serious offence is punishable by a two-year jail sentence and/or a fine of up to £50,000. The court will also have the power to make Unlawful Profit Orders that require the tenant responsible to pay back any profits made by the social housing fraud.

Milton Keynes Council is working hard to stamp out social housing fraud to help keep social housing for those who really need it.

We will investigate all reports of social housing fraud and where there is a case we will look to prosecute and recover money made fraudulently as well as recover the property being sublet or obtained fraudulently.

Since April 2014, 145 cases of social housing fraud have been reported to Milton Keynes Council, 37 properties have been recovered and there are currently 16 cases being investigated at a legal stage for prosecution. 32% of cases reported during this period have resulted in the recovery of properties.

If you think you know someone committing this kind of fraud, let us know by calling our hotline 01908 253587. All calls are confidential and it could make a real difference. Alternatively, use this form to report Abandoned or Sublet Properties.

 

Last Updated: 30 November 2017