Southwark Council

Southwark CouncilBackground

Southwark Council is responsible for managing 39,000 social homes within the borough.  Part of this work involves identifying properties that are being unlawfully sub-let to those not entitled to social housing.  The problem has grown in recent years and Southwark as a leader within London on the issue of combating of tenancy fraud are committed to stopping this drain on valuable resources

Challenges

  • Enable Southwark Council to free up housing for vulnerable families and to reduce benefit fraud they needed a solution that could identify those unlawfully sub-letting.
  • The requirement needed a large scale solution with the capability to batch view and process 39,000 social owned properties.

The Solution

By using ThreeSixty Tenant View Callcredit was able to quickly batch assess the existing 39,000 social tenancies to ensure that the expected tenants were still resident. Where this was not the case, Callcredit then traced the expected tenants and named the current occupiers. Callcredit corroborated the residency using move-in and move-out dates, electoral roll, a credit active check and a mortgage count.

900 potential red cases were identified which meant tenancy fraud was very likely at the address, which were then filtered further using ThreeSixty Online. Beyond the initial bulk upload work, ThreeSixty Online allows a fraud manager to investigate in greater depth on an individual at an address to build a full picture of the fraud.

ThreeSixty Online was also provided to help Southwark Council to prevent tenancy fraud at time of application and allocation. If suspicions were raised during an identity check, and an exemption applies, ThreeSixty Online allowed them to make an additional search to review the full household composition and circumstances of the applicant, helping them to make the most accurate decision.

Results

ThreeSixty Tenant View identified 900 red cases of potential fraud

As a result:

  • 81 properties were recovered enabling those in the greatest housing need to move in
  • 2 right to buy applications blocked due to tenancy fraud being identified.

Michael Pinder, Head of Anti-Fraud and Internal Audit, London Borough of Southwark Council said: "Callcredit has assisted us in our fight against sub-letting, with a shift to an intelligence approach we have been able to increase the anti and recover more properties than in previous years.  This allows us to provide housing to those with a genuine need."

Award
Southwark have won the Tackling Fraud Award at the Local Government Chronicle Awards on 12th March sponsored by Coactiva. Pictured above are Ray Fielding (far right) and Michael Pinder (next to Ray).

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