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Combatting social housing tenancy fraud

Combatting social housing tenancy fraud

Data matching identifies issues quickly

A key element of a robust tenancy fraud policy

The cost of social housing fraud exceeds £1 billion per annum. Sentinel’s Housing Data Hub helps to tackle the problem by using sophisticated data-matching technology to detect different types of fraud.

Forming an integral part of any tenancy fraud policy, Sentinel's software works by automatically highlighting data patterns and anomalies that can indicate that a tenant is either not legally entitled to occupy a property or has obtained it fraudulently.

Such anomalies include false or conflicting information or personal details, but the Hub can be set to detect other warning signs or ‘red flags’ for further investigation. These include no repairs being raised, credit or high arrears on rent, anti-social behaviour, or a high number of complaints.

Sentinel enables housing organisations to benefit from sharing information – for example with local authorities or other housing providers - for cross-checking. This process highlights where irregular or contradictory information has been given to different organisations.

Through a web-based portal, our technology can also provide a real-time check as part of an application or assessment process – another way we help housing providers to focus on supporting those in genuine need.

Examples of social housing tenancy fraud that Sentinel's solution can identify include:    

  • Subletting fraud and Key-selling
    Highlighting data anomalies that indicate a tenant has rented out their property or 'sold the keys' without the landlord's knowledge or permission.
  • Application/allocation fraud 
    Automatically checking data to help identify where a prospective tenant has provided false information on their housing application.
  • Right-to-buy/right to acquire fraud 
    Identifying where an existing tenant has submitted false details, such as misrepresenting their household composition, when applying to buy the property they live in. It has been estimated that between 1.5 and 3% of all RTB applications received by local councils are fraudulent.
  • Succession fraud 
    Flagging where a person appears to have moved into a property (when the legal tenant either dies or moves away) without the right to do so.

Features and benefits include:

Automatic alerts

Automatically updates data and provides real-time alerts every time a tenant or property crosses threshold criteria.

Pieces data together

The Data Hub is able to flag potential subletting based on an accumulation of warning signs such as an inability to gain access, a lack of repair requests and Council Tax arrears.

Makes data sharing easier

Sentinel's Cloud technology helps organisations to share information for enhanced cross-checking. This could include records of Council Tax arrears, Parking Permits or deceased persons.

Cuts costly investigations

The advanced capability of Sentinel's software reduces the need for costly and complex investigations into social housing tenancy fraud.

For more information

Sentinel Brochure