Tenancy Fraud Key Amnesty – 1st – 31st May 2017

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Social housing tenants in Northern Ireland are being offered a one-off opportunity to hand in their keys if they are committing tenancy fraud, as part of an ongoing drive by housing associations and the Housing Executive to raise awareness of this type of activity.

Tenancy fraud can take a number of forms including:

·         Giving false or misleading information on a housing or homeless application;

·         Abandoning or not occupying a property;

·         Sub-letting a property to someone who is not entitled to live there;

·         Providing false or misleading information on an application to purchase the property under the right to buy scheme.

Housing associations and the Housing Executive take any suspected cases of tenancy fraud seriously and investigate these fully. This may result in prosecution for obtaining a tenancy by withholding information, making false statements and or/recovery of the property. However, during May 2017 an amnesty is in operation so if keys are returned to the Housing Executive or a housing association during this time no such legal action will be taken for the tenancy fraud.

Keys can be returned to the Housing Executive or housing association’s local office where a tenancy termination should be signed. The tenancy will be terminated with immediate effect without the need for the required notice period. However, failure to sign the termination may result in a four-week rental charge being applied.

Tenants who are committing tenancy fraud can hand their keys in to the Housing Executive or any housing association office.

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