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Report tenancy fraud

In north west London, a campaign has been launched to encourage residents to report tenancy fraud to Enfield Council and Enfield Homes. Last year 65 properties were recovered and brought back into lawful use after tenancy fraud was discovered. Cases have included properties that are sublet, left empty or are no longer being occupied by the tenant as their main home, as well as cases where the tenant has passed away and relatives falsely claim succession rights. A further 42 properties were brought back into use in 2012/13, and even more properties are expected to be recovered this year the authorities add.

Earlier this year local authorities were given powers to obtain information from a number of sources such as banks and utility companies against fraud.

Andrew Stafford, Enfield Council’s Cabinet Member for Finance said “Every year housing fraud costs the taxpayer thousands of pounds, as greedy tenants who have secured a council property sublet it for cash, sometimes to an unsuspecting person. Subletting and other offences can carry a harsh penalty; the maximum sentence is a two year prison stretch. So we want anyone who suspects their neighbour may be letting their council home, or living away from their council premises to call us.”

And Ahmet Oykener, Enfield Council’s Cabinet Member for Housing and Estate Regeneration said “There is a huge need for social housing in Enfield, and a very long waiting list for accommodation. We’re working really hard to provide a large enough supply of housing in this borough and we won’t allow those efforts to be derailed by tenancy fraud. We will not tolerate tenancy fraud, it robs the council of a vital property that could be given to someone desperately in need of a home so when we find criminal activity linked to one of our properties we will act to return it to a tenant in genuine need.”


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