Housing fraud
  • A to Z
  • Newsroom
  • Contact us
  • Accessibility
  • A- A+

Housing fraud

We are working hard to stop housing fraud and ensure that homes go to the people who need them and have obtained them fairly.

Referee holding a red card 

Councils have powers of prosecution and require people who have committed housing fraud to pay back the profits of unlawful subletting on conviction.
We will take action against anybody who commits housing fraud and your help in reporting it is important because you can see what’s going on in your neighbourhood.

There are different types of housing fraud such as:

  • not telling the truth when applying for a property – e.g. claiming to have children when you don’t
  • permanently living somewhere else (someone else may be living at the property or it may just be empty)
  • sub-letting a property without permission. This is a criminal offence
  • living in a property after someone has died without the right to do so

Do you suspect housing fraud? Tell us in confidence

If you suspect someone is a housing cheat, let us know. It could make a real difference. We will keep your name and details confidential or, if you prefer, you can let us know anonymously.

You can make a report by emailing tenancyfraud@leeds.gov.uk or calling 0800 188 4000.

When you contact us, we will need to know:

  • Address of property being sublet / not occupied
  • Why you suspect housing fraud
  • When did you last see the rightful tenant
  • Any information about who is using or visiting the property
  • Any other relevant information
  • If you are willing to make a statement about the fraud?
  • Your name (you can choose not to give this)
  • Your contact details (you can choose not to give this)

Examples of housing fraud

Click to expandUnlawful subletting

When a tenant lets out their council or housing association home without the knowledge or permission of their landlord they are unlawfully subletting. It is not fair to sublet and to profit from a property where someone in greater need could live.

​You may be able to rent out a room or part of your home if you are still living there, but you must get permission from the Council before you do.

Click to expandNot living at the property or non-occupation

As part of your tenancy agreement, you agree to use your property as your main or principle home. If you are away from your property for more than 28 days then you must inform us in writing.

Click to expandObtaining housing by deception

If a person gets a council property by giving false information in their application they are committing housing fraud. This can include saying that more people live with you than in reality or not saying that you are renting a home from another council or housing association.

Click to expandWrongly claimed succession

When a tenant dies, there are rules that say what should happen to the tenancy. If someone tries to take over the tenancy when they have no right to do so, this is wrongly claimed succession. For example, they might say they lived with the tenant before they died, when in fact they were living elsewhere.

Click to expandSubletting by leaseholders

If you have bought your council property as a lease holder you may be able to sublet it, but you must let us know. Failing to do this could invalidate some of your rights and risk insurance claims being rejected.


Did you find the information you were looking for?