Eastlight launches Key Amnesty to counter Tenancy Fraud

This November, we are running a Key Amnesty to tackle Tenancy Fraud.

Tenancy Fraud is where people live in a social housing property without the right to do so. It prevents residents who desperately need somewhere to live from having a home.

At a time when more and more families are struggling to make ends meet, we want to do everything we can to ensure our homes are occupied by residents who need them.

Our Key Amnesty allows anyone committing Tenancy Fraud to get in touch with Eastlight staff or come to our Braintree office to hand over keys to their property. No further action will be taken, and no repercussions or penalty will be issued as a result.

The Key Amnesty will run until 30 November 2022.

Tenancy Fraud: The facts

Tenancy Fraud is a crime, punishable by a fine of up to £50,000 or even imprisonment for up to two years.

There are estimated to be 100,000 social homes nationwide which could be occupied by someone who doesn’t have the right to do so.

All properties occupied through Tenancy Fraud deprives someone on the housing waiting list of a home they need. There were more than 3,000 households on the waiting list last year, in just one of our key areas.

Examples of Tenancy Fraud include, but are not limited to:

  • Unlawful subletting – letting out all or part of the property without Eastlight’s consent.
  • Obtaining housing by deception – providing false or inaccurate information to receive a property.
  • Wrongly claimed succession – taking over a tenancy by succession or assignment when they’re not legally entitled to do so. You can read more about assignments & successions here.
  • Key selling – receiving payment to pass the keys of the property onto someone else.
  • Abandonment – leaving the property & residing elsewhere with no intention to return and have not issued Eastlight a proper Notice to Quit or agreed written surrender of the property. You can read more about giving notice here.

How to highlight Tenancy Fraud

Whether you see fraudulent activity happening in your area, think someone might be participating in Tenancy Fraud or committing the offence yourself, please reach out immediately.

You can find out more about spotting the signs of Tenancy Fraud here.

You can call us on 0330 128 0330 and press ‘3’ for all matters relating to Tenancy Fraud. (We will not ask any personal information that will allow us to identify you, should you wish to remain anonymous).

Alternatively, fill out the Anti-Social Behaviour form on our website here.