Choice will take action to prevent, detect and tackle tenancy fraud where it exists within Choice properties to ensure the people living in our homes are entitled to live in them.
What is tenancy fraud?
Tenancy fraud is when someone is living in a property that they are not entitled to. Some of the most common types of tenancy fraud are:
- Telling lies to get a home
- Leaving your Choice property without letting us know and living somewhere else, either leaving your property empty or selling the key to a relative or another person
- Letting your Choice property to someone who is not entitled to live there
- Telling lies on an application to buy your Choice home
What happens if a Choice tenant commits tenancy fraud?
- If a tenant of Choice commits tenancy fraud they may be stopping someone in greater need of housing from getting a home.
What happens if someone is found guilty of tenancy fraud?
- If a Choice tenant is caught committing fraud, they are likely to lose their home and could lose their right to social housing in the future.
- Depending on the seriousness of the fraud, they could also be fined and/or sent to prison.
What is Choice doing to help prevent tenancy fraud?
- When a tenant signs for their new tenancy Choice will check the photographic ID of the new tenants. Make sure you bring documents with your photo on them for eg driving licence or passport, when you are signing for your new home. If you do not have photographic ID your photo may be taken at the sign up.
- Choice staff carry out a visit on new tenants during the first 4 weeks of their new tenancy. The visit helps to detect possible fraud at an early stage. It helps to confirm household details. It is also useful for confirming that the new tenant is living at the property and is using it as their only and principle home.
- Choice staff will try to carry out an unannounced visit on all its tenants once a year. This will help staff to confirm tenancy details and update the records.
- Choice trains its staff to inform them of the various types of housing fraud and how to spot it. This makes staff more aware of tenancy fraud, how to help prevent it and shows them how to deal with reported cases of fraud.
- Choice takes part every 2 years in the UK wide National Fraud Initiative and shares information with other relevant bodies to help prevent and detect fraud.
- Choice will place information on fraud on its website to increase awareness of fraud among tenants. It will place articles on fraud in the quarterly Choice News newsletter and take part in publicity campaigns and key amnesties.
- Choice reports all suspected cases of tenancy and benefit fraud to the Department for Communities.
What can you do to help?
Choice is working to prevent tenancy fraud and ensure its homes are given to those in genuine housing need. If you suspect that someone is committing tenancy fraud, you can help by letting us know.
Please contact Choice on 0300 111 2211
or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
All reports will be held in the strictest confidence, investigated and the necessary the action taken.