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Frank Hovis

Claiming Housing Benefit To Pay Rent On Your Own House

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AIBU (sorry, been posting on mumsnet :ph34r:) to think that if somebody makes a claim for HB to pay rent on a house then a basic check should be that they don't actually own it?

Glancy's fraud offences involved claiming housing benefit for rent payments on his home in Grimsby, Lincolnshire, despite the fact he actually owned it himself.

The offences took place between June 2006 and September last year, the court heard, with the total sum he claimed reaching £30,461.

His fraud was discovered when checks with the land registry revealed that he was the owner of the house he was claiming housing benefit on, and that he was not a tenant.

So he got away with it for seven years :angry: there must been loads of other cases. I always thought that storyline in Bread about their living in their grandad's house and claiming HB while he lived in their house and did the same was another weak Carla Lane joke. It turns out that it's actually a very sophisticated fraud which would defeat the HB inspectors.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2558765/Bronski-Beat-singer-avoids-prison-fiddling-30-000-benefit-fraud-scam.html

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I have almost no knowledge of benefits. On what basis do tenants qualify for housing benefit, but home owners don't?

Home owners don't have to pay rent is the simple answer.

However I guess you're talking about mortgage support about which I know not a lot other than I don't think it's that generous or widely available, the test being how much it would cost the council to look after you if you lost your house.

So if you're a single person in your working years you can forget mortgage support.

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If I was going to attempt this type of fraud I would have at least put the house as an asset of an off shore company B)

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Home owners don't have to pay rent is the simple answer.

However I guess you're talking about mortgage support about which I know not a lot other than I don't think it's that generous or widely available, the test being how much it would cost the council to look after you if you lost your house.

So if you're a single person in your working years you can forget mortgage support.

:lol:

You're so wrong.

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I often wonder about the hidden 'iceberg' of HB fraud, not to mention housing dept. fraud and corruption. The other day in London I picked up a free paper with a case of some council housing officer - I think it was Southwark - who had dished out council properties to various illegals and several members of his own family who were not entitled. He had helped them obtain false documents and rubber-stamped them. He was going to jail, and the properties taken back, but this had been going on for years. You can't help wondering how much of this sort of thing goes undetected for ages.

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Happy to be corrected....

https://www.gov.uk/support-for-mortgage-interest

Knock yourself out.

Its time limited and restricted to a certain rate but housing benefit is means tested and also restricted to a certain amount.

I would contend you are far, far less likely to be re-possesed for only paying bank the SMI than a tenant would be likely to be evicted for only paying their landlord LHA.

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I often wonder about the hidden 'iceberg' of HB fraud, not to mention housing dept. fraud and corruption. The other day in London I picked up a free paper with a case of some council housing officer - I think it was Southwark - who had dished out council properties to various illegals and several members of his own family who were not entitled. He had helped them obtain false documents and rubber-stamped them. He was going to jail, and the properties taken back, but this had been going on for years. You can't help wondering how much of this sort of thing goes undetected for ages.

.....been going on for years. ;)

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Fraud is at epidemic levels across London and probably across the Country.

Here is a selection of convictions across 4 West London councils that it took me no more than 5 minutes to reference. I could have sat here all night and pasted links to stories like these in had I the inclination and the time.

Housing benefit cheat from Harrow given community service over £12,000 fraud

identified 25 cases of housing/council tax benefit fraud and social care direct payment fraud amounting to £315,000 and successfully prosecuted 12 people.

A retired court usher, a buy-to-let landlady and a single father have all been convicted of benefit fraud. Wood Green Crown Court heard Theresa McGroarty, of Chaplin Close, Wembley, claimed Housing and Council Tax benefit for more than 13 years after claiming her only income was from a state retirement pension.

A woman who lied to get a council house and fraudulently claimed benefits has been ordered to repay more than £190,000 after she was taken to court by Ealing Council last week.

A local woman has been sentenced to a 12-month prison sentence, suspended for 18 months, after pleading guilty to defrauding Ealing Council and the Independent Living Fund of more than £118,000.

A Southall woman has been imprisoned after falsely claiming £25,838 in housing benefit.

Chesham couple to pay back £14,000 after benefit fraud

It is a subject which interests me for the following reasons. Around 5 years ago I was round a friends house whose wife works in a local housing benefit office. (one of the councils the above stories are sourced from).

After a few drinks down the pub we were back at theirs and she started to tell us about the abuse which goes on in her department.

A certain a modus operandi has developed where the perps are able to defraud both the taxpayer getting their mortgages paid in the process.

An extended family will for example purchase a handful of houses all above board and secured on mortgages. They will then draw up (bogus) tenancy agreements and let the houses to each other (notionally, without actually swapping houses) housing benefit is then obtained on the back of the bogus tenancy agreements along with (but not always) false claims of income.Apparently is is quite difficult to track the culprits down such is the problem with naming hierarchy, who is who (within the extended family) and who actually owns what.

On the one case they did manage to bolt down to conviction, it took many hundreds of man hours of detective work, sitting outside of properties ect and 2 years to gather the required evidence. That particular fraud only ran to 8 properties and is covered here.

Porsche-driving family worth £1.5million jailed after claiming £170,000 in benefits

and here

Housing benefit fraud - a family business

This particular fraud was complex and did result in people being sent to jail yet only the Daily Mail bothered to report it apart from a few non league news sites.

The word from the coal face is that London councils know they are losing money to these frauds running into the tens of Millions every year, possibly hundreds of millions but that there is no will to tackle it. Partly because it is being committed by a certain ethnic part of the population and the fact it would take too many resources to gather the evidence to convict.

It was even mentioned that senior council officers even know 'who is at it' and corrupt within their own organisations but they are left in place rather than dealt with.

Far easier to push it under the carpet when the money is simply printed up and added to the national debt. Also worth mentioning this type of fraud is pushing the market and propping values in it's own little way.

http://www.benefitfraud.org.uk/index.html

"Fraud is buried, no one wants to admit it's going on, and because no one's really taken hold of it, it's grown to a point where it's out of control."- Westminster Fraud Czar

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I often wonder about the hidden 'iceberg' of HB fraud, not to mention housing dept. fraud and corruption. The other day in London I picked up a free paper with a case of some council housing officer - I think it was Southwark - who had dished out council properties to various illegals and several members of his own family who were not entitled. He had helped them obtain false documents and rubber-stamped them. He was going to jail, and the properties taken back, but this had been going on for years. You can't help wondering how much of this sort of thing goes undetected for ages.

Knew a councile worker in the nineties who had a council house and council flat, let the flat out as unlicensed HMO (3 beds). She had foster kids too, and the husband was a coke dealer.

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