As the Tremark housing team get back from our second year of exhibiting at the CIH conference 2014 one thing that strikes me is how many organisations are now taking the subject of tenancy fraud and illegal subletting seriously. It seems to have taken time for the message to get through that this is not just a problem faced by social landlords in London and the South East but this is changing fast.
Many social landlords, at all ends of the country, are now conducting large scale data matching exercises to identify properties and tenants likely to be involved in tenancy fraud. A question that is often asked however, is “what next?”.
A lot of the people I spoke to at the CIH conference want to implement systems which provide real value and deliver actual solutions to the problem of tenancy fraud. Of course no system will deliver if it is not actually used and the unfortunately widespread practice of adding more and more duties to housing officers’ ever expanding job roles often proves to be a false economy. I have been told by colleagues who provide data matching services to uncover fraud that many registered providers struggle to capitalise on the valuable intelligence which the services uncover. Knowing what the next step should be in a newly identified case of suspected tenancy fraud can be confusing and requires specialist investigative knowledge and experience. One valid but costly response to this dilemma is to employ a specialised team of in-house fraud investigators. This does often prove to be an effective solution however, new staff have sorts of associated demands on resources, from office space and salaries to HR support and the difficulties of slotting the team into existing management structures. By working with specialists such as the team we have at Tremark Associates, your organisation can reap the benefits that experienced investigators bring as and when you want them and in a way that fits in with your current operational structure.
Neal Wells, Housing Investigations Consultant, Tremark Associates
For further information on our tenancy fraud solutions please contact Neal Wells on 0845 862 1853 or at info@Tremark.co.uk