A further 82 properties being investigated in Wandsworth
Investigations by Wandsworth Council, South London Legal Partnership and South West London Fraud Partnership have so far discovered 48 council and housing association properties occupied by fraudulent tenants.
The figures which were published in a report to the Council’s Audit Committee earlier this month show that 268 investigations have taken place in the preceding 12 months, with a further 82 continuing. It is estimated that claiming back the 48 properties from people who were not entitled to have them has saved the Council £2.8million in temporary accommodation costs.
Tenancy fraud can take many forms, including unlawful sub-letting, retaining a council home while living elsewhere, or falsifying a claim for succession.
Cllr Clare Salier, Cabinet Member for Housing, said: “We won’t hesitate to take action against fraudsters who are not only depriving homeless and overcrowded households of a home, but who are also cheating other law-abiding, rent-paying tenants and Wandsworth taxpayers.”
The council rents out around 17,000 properties in Wandsworth. They say that each year thousands of spot checks are carried out to ensure that these flats are occupied by their legitimate tenants.
Anyone with information about council homes being sub-let or misused can report this to the South West London Fraud Partnership on (020) 8871 8383 or email SWLFP@wandsworth.gov.uk.
September 20, 2017