Lewisham Council Homepage Skip navigation

Housing fraud

If you suspect that someone is committing housing fraud, including illegally subletting their council home, let us know about it.

When somebody with a council house rents it out without permission or obtains a home through providing false information, they are guilty of housing fraud.

There are different types of housing fraud including:

  • illegal subletting – the tenant lives elsewhere and sublets the whole of the property to others
  • abandonment – the tenant no longer lives at the property, leaving it empty
  • fraudulent application –a person gets a property by giving false information in their application, for example, not telling us they are renting another council or housing association property

If you suspect someone in your neighbourhood is committing this crime, report it now. People who are committing housing fraud are denying homes to people in genuine need.

What can you do to help?

Lewisham Council’s Housing Services has a dedicated team to tackle social housing fraud. The Tenancy Audit team mainly deals with investigating properties that are sublet or abandoned. These are serious breaches of tenancy. Each property that is sublet or abandoned is not being used in the way intended by the Council, i.e. to house those in greatest need.

These properties should be used to provide secure housing to families currently in temporary accommodation. This provides a quality of life improvement for families, as well as saving money for the Council.

Recent successes for the Tenancy Audit team include:

  • a Right to Buy application was cancelled and we obtained a possession order for subletting
  • a tenant, who was subletting, agreed to voluntarily end their tenancy to avoid legal action

Our experience shows that residents are best placed to know what is taking place on the estates they live on. We value and welcome all referrals. All reports will be kept confidential and you can remain anonymous.

You can contact us on 0800 028 2028 or report housing fraud online.

What happens next?

We will investigate your concerns and take the necessary action. If someone is found to have committed housing fraud that person could lose their tenancy.