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Report benefit and tenancy fraud

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Report benefit fraud

Responsibility for the investigation of Housing Benefit Fraud transferred to the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) on 1st July 2014.

You can report suspected Housing Benefit Fraud to the DWP in three ways:


You can report suspected benefit fraud on the website:

By telephone:

Contact the DWP National Benefit Fraud Hotline on 0800 854 440.

Your call is free and confidential, you do not have to give your name or address.

Lines are open Monday to Friday, 8:00am to 6:00pm.

If you have speech or hearing problems you can use a text phone service on 0800 328 0512

By post:

If you would prefer to write please send letters to the following address:

- NBFH, PO Box 224, Preston, PR1 1GP

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Report tenancy fraud

Illegally subletting your council or housing association property is now a criminal offence. Tenancy fraud is explained below with examples.

If you want to report Tenancy Fraud in a Council or Housing Association property please complete our online report form:

Alternatively please call our hotline on 01903 221289.

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What is tenancy fraud?

Illegally subletting your council or housing association property is now a criminal offence.

Most people applying for housing wait their turn to be allocated a home.

Housing cheats don’t wait, they jump the queue.

If you suspect someone is a housing cheat, let us know. Your help could make a real difference.

We all know that there is not enough affordable housing to go around. The lack of social housing means that families in real need are forced to wait, sometimes for years, on the housing register or in overcrowded households.

When people make fraudulent applications for housing they are jumping the queue, and being housed before other, more vulnerable people. When council/social housing tenants move out and sublet their properties, they are making money from a home which could be used to re-house a family in need.

Did you know that Housing Fraud can be:

  • Living with a new partner but keeping your house/flat 'just in case' things don’t work out
  • Moving out and leaving adult children in the property
  • Leaving the property empty, and not giving notice to quit or letting us know that you have left
  • Letting someone live in the property whilst you live elsewhere
  • Letting someone live in part of the property, without the landlords consent
  • Selling your keys and moving out
  • If you haven't told the truth when requesting the property, or have forgotten to tell us something important, such as already owning a property, or already renting another Housing Association property.
  • Telling us that you lived in the property before the legal tenant died, and claiming that you have a right to their tenancy

The new legislation means that, if prosecuted the person responsible could face a fine of up to £5,000 or they could go to prison for up to two years.

How you can help

Perhaps you have seen a tenant moving out, or noticed a property where the occupants seem to change regularly. Maybe you have seen someone collecting rent from subtenants. If you know of someone who is committing housing fraud, let us know!

All information is useful, but please give as much detail as possible.

For example:

  • Alternative addresses for tenants living elsewhere
  • Names and descriptions of suspected subtenants
  • Details of any vehicles
  • Regular times that tenant leaves/returns to property

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