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Social Housing Fraud... Let the battle commence

Prevention of Social Housing Fraud Act 2013

In accordance with a Commencement Order made just yesterday, the Prevention of Social Housing Fraud Act 2013 came into force in England on 15 October 2013.

The Act, which aims to ensure that social housing is occupied by those in greatest need of it, makes significant changes to the landscape of social housing law. In summary, it:

  • creates criminal offences of unlawful sub-letting by secure tenants and the assured tenants of social landlords;
  • gives local authorities wide powers to prosecute them;
  • creates the Unlawful Profit Order, requiring defendants to pay the profits of unlawful sub-letting to the landlord, either following conviction or in civil proceedings;
  • provides that assured tenants of social landlords, who unlawfully sub-let or part with possession of their homes, lose security of tenure permanently; and
  • gives the Secretary of State and Welsh Ministers power to make regulations to facilitate the investigation of social housing fraud.

Leon Glenister and I wrote an article for the Solicitors Journal earlier this year entitled "Acting on Housing Fraud". The article summarises the main provisions of the 2013 Act and its likely impact. In the event that you would like to discuss the content of the article please feel free to contact Leon or me.