"Social housing tenancy fraud is costing the sector up to £900m a year." - I'm always very suspicious of these type of comments so I went to the source of this information - the Audit Commission and their report 'Protecting the Public Purse 2011'.
So how did the Audit Commission come up with a figure of £900 million, here is what they said: "We assumed a 2.5 per cent level of tenancy fraud in London and 1 per cent in the rest of the country."
So what did they base this assumption on. Apparently two things:
1) Housing Professionals told them they thought unlawful subletting could be as high as 5 per cent of the social housing stock in London and other Metropolitan areas.
2) Data they have collected on actual proven tenancy fraud.
So one part of this analysis is based on guess work from Housing Professionals! The second part is on actual data - oh good we have something to go on then. Now what does this actual data show, London has the highest level of proven tenancy fraud and this is 0.306 per cent. The overall average is 0.1 per cent. Hmm so how on earth did we get to 2.5 per cent for London and 1 per cent for other major cities. Frankly I have no idea, as far as I can see its pure guesswork.