Photographs will be taken to stop fraud

NEW housing tenants of Arun District Council are to be photographed to prevent fraud.

The move was recommended by councillors to start from April 1 for a trial period of a year.

The need for photographic ID was explained to the council’s housing and customer services working group last Wednesday by head of housing Brian Pople.

His report said: “Public housing is a valuable asset and there is a great demand for this form of housing.

“It is unacceptable that some people abuse their tenancy and profit from it by unlawfully sub-letting their property to someone else.”

It was estimated as many as 50,000 social homes nationally were occupied fraudulently.

To crack down on this, the government had recently recommended housing providers should hold photographs of tenants.

The trial scheme will see photographs of all new adult tenants being taken when they sign up for a property or as soon as possible afterwards.

The tenants will be told about the procedure and the fact all council offcers will have access to the photos.

But they will not be shared with anyone else unless the council has to do that by law.

Changes from single to joint tenancies will also trigger the need for new photographs. The scheme needs to be ratified by Arun’s cabinet next Monday.