Tenancy fraud policy

Key legislation

The Prevention of Social Housing Fraud Act 2013 (PoSHFA) made the subletting of the whole of a social rented dwelling a criminal offence and introduced two new criminal offences:

  1. Where the tenant sublets or parts with possession of a property or ceases to occupy the property, knowing that it is a breach of tenancy. A person convicted of this offence can be fined an unlimited amount.
  2. Where a tenant dishonestly and in breach of tenancy, sublets without consent and ceases to occupy the property as their only or principal home. A person convicted of the second offence can be imprisoned for up to two years and/or fined an unlimited amount.

This Act gives local authorities the ability to prosecute in cases of unlawful subletting and also gives the Court the authority to order the tenant to pay back any profit made from unlawful subletting.

The Fraud Act 2006 states that a person is guilty of fraud if he is in breach of the following:

  • Fraud by false representation
  • Fraud by failing to disclose information
  • Fraud by abuse of position

A person who is found guilty of fraud is liable, on conviction to a maximum sentence of 10 years imprisonment and/or a fine.