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Tenancy fraud clampdown bites

Published Wednesday, 04 June 2014

Enfield Council’s housing investigations team and Enfield Homes’ tenancy management team have joined forces to track down council tenancy fraud and bring illegally sublet properties back into use.

Through joint working a total of 65 properties were recovered in 2012/13, and in 2014/15 it is anticipated that at least 75 properties will be taken back into the Council’s possession to be made available for people in genuine need of housing.

Tenancy fraud is the use of social housing by someone who is not entitled to it. It includes: 

- The unauthorised sub-letting of a property by council tenants to people who have no tenancy agreement with the council;

- Submitting false information on a housing application form to gain a tenancy; and

- Wrongful tenancy succession where the property is no longer occupied by the original tenant.

Cllr Ahmet Oykener, Enfield Council’s Cabinet Member for Housing, said: “I am delighted to hear that so many houses, which have been let illegally or fraudulently, have been repossessed. People who sublet council properties cause misery as it ends up with them losing their right to council property and the unfortunate tenant being made homeless.

“Council housing is scarce, and we need to ensure that every single property we have goes to the right person and is used as a home for a family in need. Not to line a fraudsters pocket.”

Cllr Andrew Stafford, Cabinet Member for Finance and Property said “Those who defraud the council of housing or vital funds need to be punished. It is gratifying to know that so many people who thought they would get away with housing fraud have been caught and lost their right to a home.

“Everyone looking to rent a property must take care, especially when looking online. Go to a reputable letting agent, and check out your facts about a property or it could end up with you losing your home and deposit.”

To report a suspected tenancy fraud contact either the Council’s Fraud Hotline on 020 8379 4289 or Enfield Homes on 020 8375 8296.

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