COUNCIL housing providers in Gloucestershire have identified 132 cases of tenancy fraud since they joined forces in a bid to crack down on people who are illegally occupying social housing.
Under the name of the Gloucestershire Tenancy Fraud Forum (GTFF) the six social landlords aim to free up social housing for those legitimately entitled to it.
The campaign, which began in April 2013, has already led to 70 properties being recovered for people genuinely in need of affordable housing.
They have been relet to applicants on Gloucestershire Homeseeker.
Other activities included the sharing of intelligence, an amnesty and a community bus travelling to different areas of the county to educate people on the issue, allowing them to discuss any concerns.
Kevin Topping, Stroud District Council’s tenancy manager and chair of the GTFF said there wasn’t enough social housing to meet the needs of people who genuinely need it.
“We have to make the best use of the housing available and ensure that it is occupied by those who are legally entitled to do so,” he said.
“People waiting for social housing will have to wait even longer if homes continue to be occupied by those who have no right to be there.”
Examples of tenancy fraud include unlawful subletting, obtaining a home by deception, abandonment of the property, wrongly claiming succession after someone dies and even selling on the keys of a home for a one off payment.
The social landlords which make up the GTFF are Stroud District Council, Rooftop Housing, Severn Vale Housing, Guinness Hermitage, Gloucester City Homes, Cheltenham Borough Homes and Two Rivers Housing
Anyone wishing to report someone they suspect of committing tenancy fraud can call 01453 754876 or report it confidentially at www.tellustoday.co.uk