Lambeth: Tackling fraud to secure council homes and save money

18 January 2024

Written by: Lambeth Council

Council statements and updates - Housing and planning - News and announcements - Post Type - Spending and transparency - Topic area

Lambeth has blocked fraudulent attempts to purchase properties worth nearly £2m under the Right to Buy scheme – and seized back hundreds of council homes where tenants have falsely secured social housing.

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Lambeth: Tackling fraud to secure council homes and save money

As part of ongoing efforts to ensure that much-needed homes across the borough are available to those who need them most, the council’s Counter Fraud team has recovered 286 tenancies since April 2020. Over the same time period five people have been prosecuted for tenancy fraud.

The sale of 17 properties under Right to Buy – which allows council tenants to buy their council home at a discount – have been blocked after it was discovered that fraudulent applications had been made. The action against Right to Buy fraud alone has saved taxpayers more than £1,850,000.

Word from the Cabinet

Councillor Maria Kay, Cabinet Member for Better Homes and Reducing Homelessness, said: “The vast majority of our residents are honest and decent people, but a determined minority try to take advantage of the support we have for those most in need.

“There is incredible pressure on the supply of social housing in Lambeth and, as part of our efforts to tackle the issue, we are determined to make sure that council housing goes to those who need it. We would encourage residents to help us identify ongoing fraud so we can act.”

Residents who suspect tenancy fraud is being committed are asked to make a referral to the council’s Counter Fraud team in confidence via

Residents can also report any other fraud against Lambeth via the council website, with an example of a recent council prosecution made against a couple for a £1m direct payment fraud resulting in sentences of 15 years for the two perpetrators.

Cllr Kay added: “Lambeth currently has more than 4,000 households in temporary accommodation and every property recovered from fraudsters provides a home for those in genuine need.”