Callcredit helps Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council stamp out tenancy fraud

Sandwell Council is continuing to step up its fight against tenancy fraud and has signed a contract with credit and fraud expert, Callcredit Information Group which will help them to detect and prevent fraud amongst the Council's 30,000 social homes.

In October 2012 the Council launched a campaign to get residents to report potential tenancy fraud which formed part of its Making Best Use of Stock Policy - a three-year plan to reduce under-occupation and overcrowding in council homes and tackle tenancy fraud.  Within six months Sandwell's tenancy fraud crackdown resulted in three fraudulent right-to-buy applications being blocked, 36 cases of abandoned properties being detected and eight properties being recovered as a result of illegal succession and/or subletting.

The new contract with Callcredit will provide Sandwell Council with the tools to support the policy by helping detect fraud amongst existing tenants and to prevent tenancy fraud at time of application and allocation.  Callcredit's ThreeSixty Tenant View and ThreeSixty Online solutions will help Sandwell Council to reduce tenancy fraud and free up housing for vulnerable families - areas the Council has always taken a tough line on and is actively taking action against.

Lee Birch, Business Development Manager, Callcredit said: "We are pleased to be able to help Sandwell take action against offenders that provide false information to jump the housing queue, fail to occupy their property, pass a property to a friend or family member or sub-let their home for financial gain.

"By using Callcredit's solutions Sandwell will be able to ensure that vulnerable individuals and those families who are most at need are not on the waiting list or living in temporary accommodation for any longer than is needed."

Deputy Leader of Sandwell Council, Councillor Mahboob Hussain said: "The Prevention of Social Housing Fraud Act has given local authorities such as Sandwell Council additional powers to take action against council tenants that commit tenancy fraud.

"The change in legislation makes it all the more important for Sandwell to be able to identify exactly which properties are being misused. We are delighted to be working with Callcredit who is able to help us do this by providing the essential data  we require to start investigating and taking action against the fraudsters whose actions dramatically reduce the numbers of properties Sandwell has available to rent."