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International Fraud Awareness Week 2018

This week marks International Fraud Awareness Week 2018 which aims to minimize the impact of fraud globally, by promoting anti-fraud awareness within the work place by setting a goal of creating an anti-fraud culture.

Anti-fraud initiatives are especially important to Network Homes in terms of safeguarding its assets. With fraudulent activity now costing the UK an estimated £110 billion a year, it’s imperative to highlight financial losses and reputational damage..

Too many businesses are still taking a reactive rather than proactive approach to tackling fraud. The total cost of fraud can be significant, so reducing this cost not only boosts profits and competitiveness but can reduce the amount of extra funding needed for growth.

Tenancy fraud is thought to cost housing associations and local authorities in the UK around £1 billion a year. It’s estimated that around 1% of social housing properties are fraudulently sublet – that could be around 200 Network Homes’ properties. Every time one of our properties is misused, a family in genuine need of housing is left without a home and so we’re taking a strong stance against it

Following a crackdown on fraud in social housing in 2018 Network Homes has managed to recover three properties that had been unlawfully occupied in.

After being served with a notice seeing possession and threatened with legal action the tenant handed over the keys of the property back to us. This saved us considerable time and huge costs of going through the court to recover possession.

How can you help us tackle tenancy fraud?

Have a look at the below questions and if you see it or hear it make sure you report it to us!

  1. Have you lived next door to your neighbours for years and suddenly see unfamiliar faces? Is it a Network Homes property?
  2. Is there a sudden build up of unknown vehicles using residential parking permits?
  3. Is there Anti Social behaviour from neighbours you don’t recognise? Haven’t seen one of your neighbours for a long time? Are they living elsewhere?  
  4. Are the windows constantly closed and rubbish bins always empty?
  5. Do you know a resident who’s fraudulently claiming Succession?

We have a duty to ensure we make the best use of the homes we own and manage to guarantee that the people living there are legally entitled to be there. As an organisation we’ll continue to tackle housing fraud including unlawful subletting and occupancy.

If you see it, hear it or suspect it, report it by emailing: Fraud@networkhomes.org.uk