Thousands Of Council Tenants Committing Fraud By Sub-Letting Property: Report
PRESS ASSOCIATION -- Thousands of people in social housing are committing fraud by sub-letting their property, research has suggested.
Information services company Experian examined data covering 125,000 properties run by 10 local councils and housing associations to try to detect potential fraud.
It looked at tenancy lists, and then compared the registered tenant's credit activity and which address it was associated with.
The researchers also examined credit activity by other adults who were using the council or housing association property as their address.
They extrapolated the figures to estimate that 157,077 homes were being fraudulently sub-let in the UK.
The properties could potentially be vacated and used for people in temporary accommodation, which costs around £18,000 per year per tenant according to Experian, or those who are on housing waiting lists.
The Audit Commission estimates that up to 50,000 social housing properties are occupied illegally.
Nick Mothershaw, Experian's director of fraud and identity solutions, said: "Our initial research suggests that the level of social housing tenancy fraud in Britain could be much higher than previously estimated. Reducing social housing tenancy fraud will significantly reduce the cost of temporary accommodation."