Crawley Borough Council’s fraud team investigates dozens of cases over past few months

Crawley Borough CouncilCrawley Borough Council
Crawley Borough Council
Crawley Borough Council’s fraud team has investigated dozens of cases over the past few months, including one which saw a council house being sub-let by the tenant.

The team’s report, covering November 8 2023 to June 30, was discussed during a meeting of the audit committee on Tuesday (July 9).

Stuart Small, deputy fraud manager, said 53 cases were currently open, 18 of which related to Right to Buy, 18 to housing, 16 to council tax support and one to fly-tipping.

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During the report period, the team’s work on housing fraud saved the authority £709,000, with eight council homes taken back from tenants, four prevented from being sold under Right To Buy, and three housing allocations being stopped.

On top of this, council tax bills for a total of £86,629.72 were sent to 124 people who had been receiving a single person discount to which they were not entitled.

As for the tenant who sub-let her council home after moving out of the area, she handed back the keys after being told that a criminal investigation would continue while ‘she is not using her home as it shouldbe used’.

Mr Small said: “As you can appreciate, with the cost of living crisis and the housing crisis, getting these properties back is quite important to the council so we can get people out of temporary accommodation.”

To report incidents of council tax or housing fraud, log on to crawley.gov.uk/council-tax-and-benefits/fraud .