Housing benefit fraud and investigation

We have a duty to ensure that we make benefit payments only to those who are actually entitled to them. We have a duty to ensure that we pay the correct amount.

Housing benefit fraud investigation

Our colleagues, from the Department for Work and Pensions, investigate alleged benefit frauds. We use a variety of 'tools', including data matching, to identify and refer fraudulent claims.

When does a housing benefit claim become fraudulent?

Working and claiming benefit

Working and claiming fraud usually involves claimants who are in receipt of Housing Benefit/Council Tax Reduction. Claimants do not declare all or part of their wages or other jobs.

Non-disclosure of property/capital

This fraud is where a claimant fails to declare savings/capital, or the ownership of another property/land elsewhere.

Non-disclosure of income

This is where the claimant fails to declare all their income. They do this knowing that non-declaration will increase their benefit award. An example is a private pension.

Non-disclosure of partner (living together as husband and wife)

This involves a claimant failing to declare the presence of a partner who is working. They do this knowing that this would affect their entitlement.

Non-declaration of non-dependants and/or sub-tenants

It is fraudulent if a claimant fails to declare the presence of other adults living in the property. This is in order to preserve or increase entitlement to benefit.

False claims by home owners

This is where the owner of a property falsely states that they are paying rent to occupy their own property.

Failing to declare a change of address

Where a claimant fails to declare that they have moved. If they continue to accept payments for their previous address, they are committing fraud.

False address fraud

This is where a person is claiming for an address at which they are not living. This type of offence may occur with the collusion of the landlord or other tenants.

Landlord fraud

Where a landlord continues to receive benefit paid directly to them. This is for a period after which they are aware the claimant vacated the premises. Where the landlord has access to more than one property. There is the potential to move tenants around without informing us.

Landlords and managing agents can defraud the benefits system in many other ways. This can be in areas where there is a large proportion of multiple occupation houses. There could be many seasonal workers looking for short-term lets.

Why you should report housing benefit fraud

Benefit cheats cost around £2 billion in stolen benefits each year. They are taking public money from people who really need it. The total cost of this fraud is equivalent to £80 a year from each family in Great Britain.

How to report housing benefit fraud

You can report benefit fraud anonymously by telephone, text phone, video relay service, online or by post.

Report-benefit-fraud on GOV.UK giving as much information as you can.

See National Benefit Fraud Hotline on GOV.UK for all contact details.


Last updated: Tuesday, 3 May, 2022.