Planning and Housing

21.06.18

Midlands council saved £1.5m through combatting tenancy fraud

Tenancy fraud cost Solihull Council almost £1.58m last year, according to recent figures.

A report presented to the council’s audit committee revealed that, since April 2017, 17 council properties have been recovered as a result of tenancy fraud investigation, with a further 34 cases currently under investigation.

According to Cabinet Office figures, the average saving from recovering a property is around £93,000.

The figure is based on an average four year fraudulent tenancy, including temporary accommodation costs for genuine applicants, legal costs to recover the property, re-let costs and rent forgone during the void period between tenancies.

As a result, an overall saving of £1.58m has been made so far.

The council’s counter fraud team has also commenced investigation into tenancy application fraud, prior to an applicant being granted a tenancy.

This preventative work has reportedly led to four housing applications being cancelled, saving a further £13,000 based on latest cabinet office figures that state that each cancelled housing application results in a saving of £3,200.

The penalty for social housing fraud can be a fine of up to £50,000 and/or a two year jail sentence.

Top image: RapidEye 

 

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