Thomas Bridge 28 July 2015

Councils face ‘huge’ rise in Right to Buy scams

Councils face ‘huge’ rise in Right to Buy scams image

Right to Buy fraud has more than doubled across London in the past year, with boroughs detecting scams worth almost £26m.

Figures from the London Boroughs’ Fraud Investigators’ Group (LBFIG) reveal the number of fraud cases involving council tenants looking to buy their property at a discount climbed to 300 in 2014/15, with the value of cons rising by 185%.

At least 3% of Right to Buy applications in London are now thought to be fraudulent. The figure will pose a serious concern for the Government as it looks to expand the scheme to 1.3m housing association tenants across the county.

London boroughs in total uncovered £73m of fraud last year, an increase of 46% on the previous 12 months.

While the number of cases dealt with by boroughs fell by 10%, local authorities are said to be facing an ‘emerging’ spate of new scams surrounding claims from people from abroad who are incorrectly claiming benefits. LBFIG said London councils identified 432 cases worth more than £7m relating to people with no recourse to public funds over 2014/15m.

Boroughs in the capital also recovered 1,618 properties from fraudsters in the past year, half the total reclaimed across the county.

Chair of the LBFIG and Southwark Council fraud manager, Kevin Campbell-Scott, said: ‘Councils across the country can learn from our proactive approach to tackling fraud, and protecting the public purse, at a time when council coffers are stretched more than ever before.

‘The sterling work our fraud teams are doing is taking money and council houses back from fraudsters, so that they can benefit those in genuine need. However we can’t be complacent. New risks are emerging all the time and we need to stay one step ahead of those who want to cheat the public purse.’

SIGN UP
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Apprentice Stonemason

City of York Council
£12.656 per annum
Do you want to pursue a career in Stonemasonry and work on York’s City walls a nationally-important monument? York, North Yorkshire
Recuriter: City of York Council

Apprentice Project Support Assistant

City of York Council
£12,656.10
Looking for a new challenge or your first steps along your career?  Your next adventure starts here!  York, North Yorkshire
Recuriter: City of York Council

Executive Support Officer

City of York Council
https
City of York Council
Recuriter: City of York Council

Development and Flood Risk Officer

Essex County Council
Up to £141.50 per day + PAYE
Development and Flood Risk Officer Temporary, Full Time £141.50 per day PAYE Location
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Cleaning Assistant

Chelmsford City Council
Grade 2 - £17,715 per annum
Riverside Leisure Centre is Chelmsford City Council’s flagship leisure facility, offering a variety of sporting activities where there is something... Chelmsford, Essex
Recuriter: Chelmsford City Council

Public Property

Latest issue - Public Property News

This issue of Public Property examines how how flexible workspaces can lead the way in regeneration for local authorities, Why local authority intervention is key to successful urban regeneration schemes and if the Government’s challenge of embracing beauty is an opportunity for communities.

The March issue also takes a closer look at Blackburn with Darwen Council's first digital health hub to help people gain control over health and care services.

Register for your free digital issue