House fraud
Tenancy fraud denies people social homes they are entitled to

What is Tenancy Fraud?

Every year in NI, people on the waiting list are denied homes because others are being dishonest about their housing needs. Tenancy fraud is where a social home (either Housing Executive or housing association) is occupied by someone who is not entitled to be there.

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.
  • There is unauthorised sub-letting or key selling (tenant leaves the property and passes the key on, in return for a lump sum/favour).
  • A property is unlawfully occupied.

Identifying Tenancy Fraud

  • Anyone applying for a social home will be assessed initially by the Housing Executive (NIHE). Applicants must supply proof of identity, which is then confirmed and kept by NIHE on the applicant’s file.
  • Alpha Housing requires all new tenants to provide photographic ID when they enter a tenancy which is then held on file.
  • All new tenants are visited within 6 weeks of the start of their tenancy. Tenants in our sheltered schemes are visited by their Scheme Co-ordinator. General needs tenants will receive an unannounced visit to confirm that they are living in the property. Photographic ID will be used for verification purposes and signatures may also be checked.
  • Cases where boiler servicing has not taken place because the contractor has not been able to gain access to a home will be investigated.
Fraud CROP
Alpha works with the PSNI and others to identify fraud

How We Respond

What will we do if Tenancy Fraud takes place?

If a tenant undertakes unlawful sub-letting/key selling, appropriate legal action will be taken to secure outright possession against the person(s) involved.

If any act of tenancy fraud includes committing a criminal offence, the PSNI will be notified and we will help facilitate prosecutions.

If a tenant is caught committing fraud, they are likely to lose their home and could lose their right to any social home in NI in future. Depending on the seriousness of the fraud, they could also be fined and/or sent to prison.

What can you do to help?

Alpha is committed to preventing tenancy fraud to ensure our homes are allocated to people in genuine housing need. If you suspect that someone is committing tenancy fraud, you can help by letting us know.

Please contact us on 028 9078 7750 or email us.

All reports will be treated in the strictest confidence, fully investigated and appropriate action taken.