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Social Housing fraud

Find out about the different types of housing fraud and how to report it

Types of social housing fraud

The most common types of fraud are:

  • A council tenant not living in their property as their only or main home.
  • Where a tenant has rented out their property and is not living there. It is a criminal offence to sublet a council tenancy without permission.
  • Where someone tries to take over a tenancy after the tenant’s death when they are not eligible. This usually involves a person claiming to have lived with the deceased tenant before their death, when they in fact lived elsewhere.
  • A tenant knowingly providing false information or failing to disclose information when applying to buy a property under the Right to Buy scheme. This includes not living in the property as their only or main home. 
  • When someone has or is attempting to get social housing based on false information they have provided. For example, someone failing to tell us they already own a property.
  • We also investigate fraudulent assignment and mutual exchange applications. 

Report fraud

Report housing fraud

You can also contact us by calling 0207 527 7432 or emailing You do not have to provide your details when reporting fraud.

Please help us to tackle social housing fraud so that we can be fair to all of our residents. Social housing fraud may be costing you or someone you know a home.

Why we tackle housing fraud

We are in a national housing crisis and Islington is no exception. There are currently over 15,000 households on our housing register waiting to access social housing and we have a very limited number of properties to let each year.

Households may wait for years for an offer of suitable accommodation, often in expensive Temporary Accommodation which puts a huge strain on council budgets. Housing fraud reduces the availability of social housing at a time of extreme demand. Every property subject to housing fraud is a property that could potentially be used to house a person or family on the waiting list. 

What action we take against housing fraud

We take housing tenancy fraud very seriously and we have a proven track record of dealing with it.

The action we take will depend on the type and scale of the fraud committed. Some of the options open to us are:

  • Possession orders to recover the property and evict the tenant who has committed fraud. Someone who has been evicted because they committed tenancy fraud is very unlikely to be given a social housing tenancy again.
  • Criminal prosecution usually under the Fraud Act 2006 or the Prevention of Social Housing Fraud Act 2013. This can result in a prison sentence of up to two years. Money orders including Unlawful Profit Orders, which recover profits made from the fraud, and Compensation orders, which recover money lost by the council as a result of the tenancy fraud.

We can choose to pursue more than one of these options.

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Data protection: We will handle your personal information in line with the Data Protection Act 1998 and in accordance with the council’s Fair Processing Notice.