Shapps tackles tenancy fraud
Housing Minister Grant Shapps has launched another crackdown on tenancy fraud, focusing on tenants who unlawfully sublet their council or housing association home. This builds upon the crackdown launched by the previous government in March, and through guidance issued by DCLG in November 2009.
Echoing his predecessor John Healey, Mr Shapps said:
"Tenancy fraud costs this country billions of pounds, but it's not just the money that's wasted The Housing Waiting list has doubled and tenancy fraud means that tens of thousands of people who could otherwise be housed are losing out because of cheats. We cannot afford to ignore this problem."
The current Minister's initiative is supported by the National Fraud Authority and the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH), who have published a new guide to tackling the problem, which costs the public purse nearly £1 billion per year. Key recommendations in the report include:
- provision of specialist investigation teams
- increased prevention activity
- effective data sharing.
The CIH's Chief Executive Sarah Webb said:
"Unlawful subletting and occupation of scarce affordable housing is worse than theft and means that some families are missing out on a decent, affordable home and all that this can bring. The new recommendations will give local authorities practical guidance to support them to clamp down on these unlawful practices."
...From Latest Edition of Housemark News.