Swan Housing Association wants as many people as possible to have ‘somewhere to feel at home’ and fulfils this ambition by providing high-quality, affordable homes in East London and Essex, helping to address housing need.
It is therefore crucial that the right people are in living Swan homes. Where tenancy discrepancies occur, it is vital that the appropriate action is taken so that these properties are available to the people who really need them.
Repossessing properties in cases where there is sub-letting, or a tenancy discrepancy is a key focus for Swan. However, property succession can often be complicated and illegal succession and sub-letting can be difficult to identify.
How the solution works
Swan uses MRI Software’s Tenancy Analytics, the tenancy management solution, to help achieve this. The system draws on multiple sources of data, both internal and external, to provide one simple, verified view of the facts, giving the housing association clarity over who is living in their homes.
Since first purchasing this software in May 2017, Swan has found it to be invaluable in helping them to tackle tenancy fraud. Although there can sometimes be discrepancies between their own housing management system and Tenancy Analytics, it is only through their regular use of Tenancy Analytics that Swan is able to gain a clear view of the true situation. The data is regularly refreshed, with automated monthly updates so that its officers know they have the latest information. They use Tenancy Analytics daily to check tenancy discrepancies, sub-letting and deceased records as well as using it for separate one-off targeted campaigns.
Cases of fraud and sub-letting
In the last year, Swan identified a case where it was suspected that the tenant was not using the property as their main and principle home. The officer checked Tenancy Analytics for evidence of this and the records showed that there was a high probability that the tenant was not living there. Following a subsequent visit to the property, the officer met someone at the address who claimed he was living in the property but was not the tenant. The tenant was contacted, and it was discovered that she was living abroad. They keys were returned to avoid any legal action and a family in need of housing was able to move in.
Swan was also alerted through their use of MRI Tenancy Analytics that two of their tenants were sub-letting their homes. Court proceedings have been started against the unauthorised occupants for both possession and an unlawful profit order.
In another case, which is currently under investigation, Tenancy Analytics flagged up details of a tenant who was showing as living in a second home, in addition to the tenancy that he held with Swan. Officers, through their use of the solution, discovered that he had a property before applying to be housed by the council. Using Tenancy Analytics means that officers can start investigating cases straight away.
In addition to ensuring that the right tenants are in the right homes, Swan has also been using Tenancy Analytics to assist their tenants. This is both to ascertain the identity of partners that have been asked to be added to the tenancy as joint tenants, as well as to locate ex-joint tenants when a tenant asks for their ex-partner to be taken off the tenancy. This helps them to complete their move out of the property which also frees up the home for another tenant.
Swan has made good use of the system enhancement, which was identified by them in conjunction with the MRI Team, to implement a proactive ‘subletting case segment’. It helps to identify levels of potential subletting, and really has made a difference and additional properties have been recovered as a result.
Jackie King, Assistant Director of Neighbourhoods commented:
Tenancy Analytics is an extremely important tool in helping us work more efficiently to support our tenants and make sure that our homes are occupied by the right people. It has been invaluable in helping us to tackle tenancy fraud and ensure that our homes are occupied by the people who really need them.
With thanks to Jackie King, Assistant Director of Neighbourhoods at Swan Housing for supporting this case study. Find out more on MRI Tenancy Analytics.