Here at Merton Priory Homes we take illegal subletting and unauthorised occupation very seriously. Residents with Merton tenancies are not allowed to rent out their home and live somewhere else. This is called illegal subletting.
Unauthorised occupation is when squatters move into empty properties or when a tenant dies or moves out and a family member claims rights to remain but they do not meet the complicated rules that apply about taking over the tenancy.
We will investigate every case and take legal action to take back the property if we can. In 2010/11 we took back 9 properties due to housing fraud.
If you know or suspect housing fraud is taking place, including illegal subletting or unauthorised occupation, please let us know. Here are some of the types of housing fraud we want to know about:
We encourage residents to report any suspected fraud. In order to act upon any information, we will require at a minimum the property address and the reason you suspect that fraud is being carried out. If possible we also require the names of anyone living in the property and / or a description of them.
In all cases even where you provide us with your name and address this information will remain confidential and will not be disclosed.
There are several ways to report housing fraud:
If you suspect fraud you can tell us about your concerns using our online form.
You can also report it to the Department for Work and Pensions.
You can report cases of suspected fraud direct by calling Merton Priory Homes Income Team on 0300 500 3000.
Alternatively contact the Merton Benefit Fraud Investigation Section hotline on 020 8545 3223
The National Benefit Fraud Hotline 0800 854 440.
You can tell us about suspected fraud by reporting it, confidentially, to your Housing Officer.
In all cases we will work closely and share information and intelligence with Merton Council, the police and the benefits agency.
Benefit changes are coming in April 2013