Across Surrey, the Surrey Counter Fraud Partnership (SCFP), is working hard to investigate fraudulent use of housing.
The types of fraud include illegal sub-letting, abandonment of properties, false homelessness and housing applications, as well as Right to Buy fraud.
This autumn, Surrey Heath Borough Council, Accent Group and the SCFP have teamed up to launch a new publicity campaign “Don’t stop his family having a home!” asking for residents’ help by reporting any suspicions they may have about fraudulent tenancy activity and allowing those in real need to occupy available homes.
Councillor Richard Brooks , Portfolio Holder for Finance said: “Social Housing is a valuable asset which must be protected. At Surrey Heath we currently have 653 families and individuals on the waiting list for accommodation and 56 more in temporary accommodation which includes bed and breakfast. We are appealing to the public to give us information that could lead to a property being recovered and given to those with a genuine need.
"Social Housing should be used to help those who need it most, not misused by fraudsters making money at all of our expense.”
Accent’s Regional Housing Director Robert Mills said: “Accent are pleased to be supporting this campaign. Tenancy fraud is a serious matter, and can deprive someone else of a much needed home. It is important we make best use of the limited housing we have in Surrey Heath. It is neighbours who are often well placed to notice anything unusual and, if anyone has any suspicions about who is living in a property or possible fraud, they should report it."
Anyone with information or suspicions of tenancy fraud can call the Surrey Heath Borough Council Confidential Counter Fraud & Corporate Enforcement Hotline on 01276 707376, or report it on line at www.surreyheath.gov.uk/report-suspected-fraud