What is Tenancy Fraud?
Tenancy misuse and/or fraud may occur where:
a tenant is not using the property as his/her sole or principal home;
a tenant obtained a property using false statements or false documents, or
unauthorised sub-letting or key selling (tenant leaves the property and passes the key on, in return for a lump sum/favour) is occurring;
A property is unlawfully occupied.
New and Potential Tenancies
All persons wishing to avail of social housing must apply, in the first instance, to NIHE for assessment. At this stage applicants are required to supply proof of identity, confirmation of ID is then recorded by NIHE on the applicant’s file.
When applicants are registered on the Housing Management System (HMS), they receive an acknowledgement letter. This includes a Declaration Statement advising that if they give false information it may lead to prosecution and that withholding of relevant information may lead to the loss of any tenancy granted as a result of the application.
Alpha Housing requires all new tenants to provide photographic ID when they are signing up for a tenancy which will be held on file. In the event that a tenant is unable to provide a satisfactory form of photographic ID, a photograph will be taken by Alpha staff.
All new tenants are visited within 6 weeks of the start of their tenancy. Tenants in our Sheltered Schemes are visited regularly by their Scheme Manager. General needs’ tenants will be visited unannounced in order to confirm that the tenant is actually occupying the property. Photographic ID information obtained at sign-up will be used for verification purposes and signatures may also be checked.
In order to help in the detection of tenancy misuse/fraud, the Association will accept reports by telephone about tenancy misuse or fraud from inter alia residents, tenants, and residents groups. Callers do not have to give their name or address when reporting suspected tenancy misuse or fraud.
Cases where boiler servicing has not taken place because the contractor has not been able to gain admittance to a property will be investigated as a potential indicator of an abandoned property.
The Housing Executive is taking part in a National Fraud Initiative which involves data matching with other local authorities by comparing computer records held by one body against other computer records held by the same or another body to identify the extent to which they match. This is usually personal information. Computerised data matching allows potentially fraudulent claims and payments to be identified and subjected to further investigation.
All reports of potential tenancy misuse / fraud will continue to be fully investigated and the outcome reported to the Board.
If unlawful sub-letting/key selling has been committed by a tenant, appropriate legal action will be taken to obtain outright possession against the person(s) involved. If any act of tenancy fraud includes committing a criminal offence, the police must be notified.
If you suspect tenancy fraud this can be reported via the contact page on the website or via telephone to our Head Office on 02890787750