02
February
2015
|
00:00
Europe/London

Blow the whistle on housing cheats




Cllr Peter Gruen hands over the keys for the repossessed property to Heather Clark from the council's Housing Leeds team.





Leeds residents are being asked to blow the whistle on housing cheats.



That’s the message of the second Yorkshire and Humber Tenancy Fraud Awareness week.



Running from 2 to 6 February, social landlords across the region are again joining forces to shine a spotlight on tenancy fraud and encourage people to come forward and report tenancy swindlers.



Leeds City Council has recovered 182 properties from housing cheats.



The latest to be repossessed is a three bedroom house in Otley.



Council investigators discovered that the tenant had lied on their housing application and pretended they were homeless.



They didn’t tell the council they were already a tenant with a housing association.



They were offered a council house and had both tenancies for a few months before the fraud came to light.



Having been evicted by the housing association, Leeds City Council took court action to recover the sought after three bedroom council property.



Councillor Peter Gruen, Leeds City Council executive board member for neighbourhoods, planning and personnel said:



“This type of selfish behaviour deprives those in genuine need of affordable housing and this is a stark warning to those fraudsters that we will investigate and recover our properties.



“We won’t stand for anyone trying to deceive the system.



“If you know of anyone who has gained a council home by dishonest means then we need you to tell us.”



Housing fraud includes subletting, not occupying the property or giving false details on a housing application.



Housing fraud can be reported anonymously by calling Housing Leeds on 0800 188 4000 or by email tenancyfraud@leeds.gov.uk.



For media enquiries contact:

Amanda Burns, Leeds City Council press office, 0113 395 1577

amanda.l.burns@leeds.gov.uk