Northampton Borough Council - tenancy fraud

Public sector TFBackground

Northampton Borough Council (NBC) looks after a population of over 212,000 in the East Midlands and manages 12,100 social homes.

Clamping down on tenancy fraud was a priority for Northampton Borough Council to be able to free up council housing for those who genuinely need it. 

The Council launched a new initiative to help tackle tenancy fraud which covered a number of different areas from subletting or passing the property to another individual, or using false information to obtain a property.

Challenges

Northampton Borough Council wanted to identify which of their 12,100 social homes were subject to tenancy fraud, e.g. where the tenant was not using the property as their main place of residence and/or there were cases of subletting.

The Council also wanted a solution to identify which tenancy applications included fraudulent/false information, e.g. undeclared mortgages or where the applicant's address-history didn't match the information declared. This would help ensure that keys to the council's social homes were only issued to individuals and families in genuine need.

The Solution

ThreeSixty Tenant View - helps to quickly assess existing social tenancies, to ensure that the expected tenants are still resident. And, where this is not the case, Callcredit traces the expected tenants and names the current occupiers.

ThreeSixty Online - helps to prevent tenancy fraud at time of application and allocation.

Northampton Borough Council used ThreeSixty Online as part of a pilot to perform counter-fraud checks on individuals that were looking to take a new tenancy with the Council.  ThreeSixty Online presented detailed financial and address history information to allow Northampton Borough Council to verify whether information provided by the applicant on their form was truthful.

Results

Northampton Borough Council is now leading the way in tackling tenancy fraud in the East Midlands, with local authorities across the country looking at how the Council has been identifying fraud and recovering properties.

  • The Council used ThreeSixty Tenant View to help recover 15 social homes that were subject to tenancy fraud
  • On average each recovered council property was worth £150,000
  • ThreeSixty Online - 1 out of 6 applications were identified as fraudulent as part of a one-week pilot exercise

Sara Essex, Intervention Team Leader, Northampton Borough Council, said: "Callcredit has provided invaluable support to our clamping down on tenancy fraud initiative.  At a time when we are trying to do more to ensure our housing stock is there to support those who need it most, someone could be trying to make a profit through unlawful subletting of one of our properties or allowing friends or family to dishonestly jump the housing queue by passing them the keys to their social home and then choosing to live elsewhere.

"Callcredit's solutions have been central to our new initiative and have been a major part in the huge success achieved. The 15 homes identified through ThreeSixty Tenant View have now been provided to families avoiding the need to stay in temporary accommodation while we found them somewhere to live."

 

 

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