Harwich Town Council

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Tenancy checks hand back homes to those who need it

A tenancy audit is being carried out by Tendring District Council (TDC) to make sure those who live in council homes are entitled to them.

The checks, which are carried out regularly by a dedicated fraud team, review whether any properties had been abandoned or sub-let, or claimed a false entitlement to.

Following such a review last year, 25 homes were taken back from people who had falsely claimed an entitlement to one – and instead given to families on the waiting list who need a home.

One case saw a tenant claim they were homeless with a teenage child, and were placed into temporary accommodation by TDC until a home was found for them. Later checks revealed the tenant did not in fact have their child living with them, and would not have been entitled to the home.

TDC attempted to take back possession of the property, on the grounds it had been claimed using knowingly false information, and following a contested hearing a county court judge awarded possession of the property back to the council.

Paul Honeywood, TDC Cabinet Member for Housing, said the ongoing review was important to protect both taxpayers and council tenants.

“We have thousands of council tenants, the vast majority of whom are model residents and are legitimately housed by us,” Cllr Honeywood said.

“Sadly there is a small minority who try to abuse the system for their own ends. This leads to families who may desperately need a home going without one, and costing TDC – and taxpayers – to put them up in temporary accommodation.

“That is why we carry out these tenancy review audits. If you have nothing to hide then you have nothing to fear; but if you are acting illegally then we will find out and we will take action against you, as we will not tolerate fraud.”

If you believe someone is committing tenancy fraud, then you can contact TDC’s fraud helpline at fraud.hotline@tendringdc.gov.uk or call Freephone 0800 169 7004.


For more information on this news release contact Tendring District Council’s Communications Manager Will Lodge on 01255 686338.