16 Arun District Council properties rescued from property fraud as crackdown continues

A dedicated Housing Fraud Officer working at Arun District Council has recovered 16 properties from fraudulent activities over the last financial year, resulting in £2.325 million in property recovery.

It marks a ‘substantial victory’ in the council’s ongoing crackdown on property fraud, a spokesperson has said, later adding: "Our officer has shown commitment and pursuit of justice, and her expertise has been instrumental in identifying and rectifying instances of housing fraud, ensuring that our housing stock is allocated to those in genuine need.

"The recovery of these 16 properties not only signifies a triumph over fraudulent practices but also represents a lifeline for 16 households in need of housing. By reclaiming these properties, we have been able to accommodate other households from our housing register, some of whom were facing homelessness. This outcome acknowledges the important role of combating housing fraud activities, which provides safe and stable housing for our residents.”

The spokesperson reiterated the council’s ‘zero-tolerance’ approach to housing fraud, adding that the often vulnerable families on the housing register deserve a fair chance of a home, and that the council remains focused on detecting and resolving incidents of housing fraud.

A long-running issue for councils all over the UK, housing fraud involves action which disrupts the fair distribution of public housing. Scammers might lie when applying for a property, for example by telling the council that their household is bigger than it is. They may also register for housing despite having permanent accommodation elsewhere. They might sub-let a property without permission, or continue to live there without permission after someone has died.

To report housing fraud, email Arun District Council on [email protected], or phone housing services on 01903 737500.

Those reporting housing fraud will need to tell the council their name and contact details, which will remain confidential, the address of the property involved in the fraud, why they might suspect housing fraud, including details about who is using the property and when they were last seen.

It is also possible to issue a statement about the suspected fraud.

A spokesperson for Arun District Council said they take reports of housing fraud incredibly seriously: “We will investigate all reports of housing fraud and take action against offenders. People who have made money from unlawful subletting will be made to pay this back if convicted.”