There is an increasing amount of people looking for social housing in the UK, especially as the cost of living is on the rise whilst wages are remaining mainly stagnant. Social landlords are therefore trying their hardest to accommodate some of the most vulnerable families across Britain; however there are some who are trying to abuse the system in order to make money, or gain cheap housing through deception.
This is why Whitefriars Housing, the largest social housing provider in Coventry, has recently teamed up with the local council in order to crack down on fraudsters, especially those that lie to gain social housing or sub-let their properties to other tenants. Whitefriars Housing currently supplies eighteen thousand homes throughout the area; however they are still under pressure due to an increasing waiting list, which is why they have chosen to create strict rules for their tenants.
The social landlord has said that they will evict tenants who are found guilty of committing housing fraud, and will also blacklist them from other social housing projects in the area. Furthermore, Coventry City Council has stated that they will consider criminal prosecution, showing how serious both bodies are when it comes to tackling housing fraud. Pauline White from Whitefriars said: “We do not tolerate housing fraud. Anyone who received a home by giving false information, rents their home onto someone else, or sells the keys to their property, is at risk. You are cheating other people in need out of a home and breaking the law.”
“Together with the council we have stepped up our patrols and if you are deceiving us, we will catch you. We are also asking members of the public to help us by calling, anonymously if you wish, and letting us know if they suspect someone of committing housing fraud. By doing this you will help us to house people who are in need of a roof over their heads.” Meanwhile, the council’s cabinet member for housing, Councillor Ed Ruane said: “Coventry, like other cities across the country, has a real shortage of housing – particularly affordable housing.”
“The fact that people have such houses that do not need it and then let it out for a profit defies belief and will not be tolerated so we will do all we can to help stamp out this practice.” If you are a landlord and are concerned that your tenants are illegally sub-letting your property then you can call your landlord insurance provider who will give you advice and help with the cost of legal fees if you choose to prosecute your tenant.