Crackdown on tenancy fraud in Gloucestershire
Published by Brian Church for 24dash.com in Housing
Government to 'help halt court actions' on home repossessions
Social landlords across Gloucestershire, including Cheltenham Borough Homes (CBH), will be shining a spotlight on tenancy fraud this week and encouraging residents to come forward and report tenancy cheats.
"Report tenancy fraud; it’s not right and it’s not fair" – that’s the message landlords across Gloucestershire are pushing as part of the national Tenancy Fraud Awareness Week from 7-11 October.
Across the UK it is estimated that 98,000 housing association and council homes are occupied by someone who should not live there or has obtained their tenancy fraudulently either by unlawful subletting, obtaining a home by deception or wrongly claiming succession after someone dies.
To help spread the message CBH will be out and about in a community bus on Friday 11 October. Visitors to the bus will be able to find out more, report tenancy fraud, pick up promotional giveaways and enter a special quiz for their chance to win £50.
CBH chief executive Paul Stephenson said: "It is vital that we make the best use of the housing available and provide homes to those in genuine housing need. We take tenancy fraud very seriously and are working hard to make sure that homes are allocated fairly and given to those who are next in line. We are highlighting tenancy fraud this week to make sure that current and future tenants are aware of what it is and how to report it."
CBH is also holding a key amnesty throughout October and is encouraging people to come forward and hand in keys connected to fraudulent tenancies.
In April CBH joined forces with other social landlords in Gloucestershire to create the Gloucestershire Tenancy Fraud Forum (GTFF) and launch a campaign to tackle tenancy fraud. So far the campaign has featured radio advertising on Heart Gloucestershire, bus advertising, the launch of a dedicated website (www.tellustoday.co.uk) and tenancy fraud awareness training for frontline staff. Across the county, this has already led to 60 cases of tenancy fraud being identified and possession being obtained.
The social landlords which make up the GTFF are Stroud District Council, Rooftop Housing, Severn Vale Housing, Guinness Hermitage, Gloucester City Homes, Two Rivers Housing and Cheltenham Borough Homes.