Hammersmith & Fulham is using Experian’s fraud detection and data-matching techniques to analyse the tenancy records of its 12,000 properties. This analysis, combined the local knowledge of the council’s housing staff, led to the targeting of around 300 high-risk properties and has already saved almost £700,000, with an anticipated total saving of £1 million by early this year.
In many cases, keys were very quickly surrendered following an email, phone call or visit from the council’s housing officers while legal action is being taken against some offenders.
Andrew Johnson, cabinet member for Housing, London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham, said, “These results prove our zero tolerance towards fraud is working. Every fraudster profiting from the most vulnerable members of society by unlawfully subletting social homes should know they now run a very high risk of being caught.”
Hammersmith & Fulham now expects to cut fraud even further after implementing more stringent identity checks on applicants. The council has joined forces with Experian to develop a UK-wide data-sharing service available to all housing providers.