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Due to essential maintenance, the following systems will be unavailable from 6.00pm on Monday 2 October until 8.00am on Tuesday 3 October: our online council tax, business rates and housing benefit services, and our welfare assistance form. You will also not be able to register to pay council tax online, make a change of address for council tax or cancel single person discount. You are still able to make a payment during this time. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.

Report tenancy fraud

There is a housing crisis and a general shortage of housing across the UK. It's estimated that thousands of housing association homes are occupied by someone who shouldn't live there or have obtained the tenancy fraudulently.

If you suspect a case of tenancy fraud you can:

Examples of tenancy fraud

Tenancy fraud can take several different forms. 

  • Unlawful subletting - where a tenant lets out their council or housing association without the knowledge or permission of their landlord.
  • Abandonment - where a tenant parts possession with their socially rented property, has no intention to return and does not inform the landlord.
  • Right to buy/acquire - where a tenant has applied for or completed the purchase of a socially rented home under the right to buy/right to acquire scheme when they are not entitled or misrepresented their circumstances to gain a discount.
  • Wrongly claimed succession - where a tenant dies or moves out and someone who is not entitled to, tries to take over or wrongly succeed the tenancy.
  • Unlawful assignment - where a resident stops using their tenancy as their main or principle home, allowing another person to live there without permission.
  • Key selling - where a tenant is paid to pass on their keys in return for a one-off payment.

What happens after you report someone

We will look at the information you give. We will only take action if we find the person has been committing tenancy fraud. Action can include asking for monies to be repaid, terminating the  tenancy, or taking them to court. Depending on the offence, the outcome of any prosecution can vary from community hours, a fine or in the most serious cases imprisonment.

Why we need to stop tenancy fraud

Tenancy fraud cost councils £135.6m in 2018/2019 with over 3,500 cases reported and investigated. There's nearly 1.15 million people on the waiting list for housing, these are the people who are being denied help because of those committing tenancy fraud.

Contact us
Corporate Fraud
03000 266 745
Our address is:
  • Corporate Fraud Team
  • Durham County Council
  • County Hall (Room G90)
  • Durham
  • County Durham
  • United Kingdom
  • DH1 5UL
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