Unlawful subletting, including
-subletting the whole property to a single household, or
-multiple sublets within one property
- Non occupation by tenants as their principle home Recent Example: (Phoenix)
- Wrongly claimed succession- retention of a tenancy following the death or vacation of the tenant following a previous succession, or of a non-qualifying person. Recent Example:
- Unlawful assignment: Recent Example:(Phoenix)
- “key selling”- where the tenant leaves the property and passes on the keys in return for a one off lump sum payment or favour: Recent Example:
- Fraudulently obtaining a social housing tenancy, including misrepresentation of identity and/or circumstances. Recent Example: A man who claimed his 14 year old daughter lived with him and they needed accommodation. After a three month operation it was revealed the child had lived elsewhere, he lived elsewhere with his girlfriend and the three bed property was sub-let as bedsits.
- Illegal use of premises: Recent Example: A social house reclaimed which was being used to manufacture and distribute CRACK COCAINE. (Paul to add examples)
Average private rents in London are now £1,038 per month (46% above the UK average), while the average London house price is £388,000 (72% higher than the UK average) and the average rental price of a three-bedroom home in London is over £20,000 per year. “ Andrew Fisher (Wednesday 22 August 2012)
Fraud is the use of social housing by someone who is not entitled to occupy that home. It can take the form of making a false housing application, sub-letting the property without permission, or succession fraud (occupying a property after the death of the legitimate tenant). Housing tenancy fraud may be found in combination with other illegal activities. We are experienced and successful in handling any criminal activity uncovered in the course of an investigation, providing specialist financial investigators and legal experts for such matters as: sale of counterfeit or stolen goods; Housing Benefit fraud; Council Tax fraud; visa overstays; serious organized crimes; and forgery.
We have investigated
- Drug use and cultivation
- Illegal immigration and national security issues
- Slave and sex trades
- Financial and identity fraud
(CAN WE ADD EXAMPLES) yes we need to
Wherever appropriate, we can instigate criminal investigations and civil proceedings, and where unlawful conduct can be shown we take the necessary steps to have related cash and assets seized.If your tenants misuse your properties we will investigate them and prepare papers to support you in issuing a NTQ and evicting them.
If you are a social housing provider, we can scale our resources of information and highly trained staff to your requirements. We offer training and support to your own housing officers or investigators to complement your existing operations. We are confident that our service will represent a cost saving to you and will result in a significant reduction in tenancy fraud against your organisation, and we only charge for work that leads to possession of the property. We also work hard to publicise every successful anti-fraud case, leading to increased confidence in the provider and satisfaction amongst residents.
Let BBFI’s knowledge and focused approach help you to visibly and successfully tackle housing tenancy fraud, and make optimal use of your homes to benefit residents with a genuine need to occupy them.
“Paul has a detailed knowledge of Council procedures and is down to earth and culturally aware… I would have no hesitation in recommending Paul to carry out this type of operation in the future.”
“BBFI have the infrastructure, specialist staff and knowledge to start a fraud team and effectively run it.”
“In the first six months BBFI investigated 100 cases and closed 53. The housing officers in partnership with BBFI have recovered the keys to or issued Notices to Quit (NTQs) in eleven cases and 47 are open and under investigation. Some of the open investigation cases are under long-term surveillance. This equates to a property recovered or NTQ issued every seven days worked.”
“Total costs spent on the BBFI services to date total £25k. Taking into account the 3 cases where RTB applications were withdrawn and assets retained in our stock as well as three cases where vacant possession was gained without costs of legal action we estimate the savings to the housing association to be upwards of £300k”
“I am proud of what we have achieved so far with the continued help of BBFI.”
“Through the partnership our staff are being upskilled to enable them to carry out more complex investigations.”
“We did not have the resources or the experience to tackle such a far reaching problem and had no idea where to start. We decided to hire professionals, BBFI on a trial basis which became more permanent.”
“As a result of 31 investigations the right to buy team working with BBFI have uncovered fraudulent application and housing benefit fraud. Five applications have been withdrawn, each of which had a potential discount of over £100k. Of the 31 applications investigated nine have completed the intended home ownership and have purchased their homes and 17 are still under investigation.”