Housing Benefit and Council Tax Reduction fraud

Reporting suspected fraud

What types of fraud are there?

The two main types of fraud that Northampton Borough Council Revenues and Benefits and Housing departments are concerned with are tenancy fraud and benefit fraud.

Tenancy fraud (council or Housing Association)

Tenancy fraud concerns one or more of the following:

  • Unlawful subletting - renting out a council property without permission,
  • Succession fraud - where someone continues to live in a property after the tenant has died. Falsely claiming to have been resident to obtain a tenancy,
  • Allocation fraud - where false information or identity is used in a housing application to gain a tenancy,
  • Right to Buy fraud - where false information is used to purchase a council house.

If you wish to report a council or housing association tenancy fraud (as listed above), you can do so by using the 'Report a suspected tenancy fraud' link below.

Your report will be treated in the strictest confidence and can be given anonymously.

We ask that you provide us with as much information about the matter as possible to enable an effective investigation.

Report a suspected tenancy fraud online

Reporting suspected benefit fraud

You can report suspected benefit fraud in one of two ways:

  1. Directly online by using the DWP anonymous referral form.

    DWP anonymous online referral form
  2. Contact the DWP on the National Benefit Fraud Hotline 0800 854 440 or via Textphone 0800 328 0512.


Your report will be treated in the strictest confidence.

We ask that you provide us with as much information about the matter as possible to enable an effective investigation.

What is benefit fraud?

If you claim benefits that you are not entitled to, you may be committing benefit fraud. Some examples of benefit fraud are when you claim benefit but do not tell the council that you:

Benefit fraud can also be committed by landlords and employers.

How does Northampton Borough Council investigate benefit fraud?

Once a fraud has been reported an investigation may take place. As we receive a high number of referrals each day we have to prioritise our work.

If the investigation finds that fraud has, or is, taking place then all parties involved will be interviewed. A report will then be submitted to the Benefits Service so that the benefit entitlement can be recalculated and any overpayment worked out. In more serious cases, a criminal prosecution may take place.

We cannot tell you the outcome of individual investigations but we publicise our results and the outcome of successful prosecutions in the local press and on the local radio. There is no charge to the public for this service.

  • Are no longer living in the property you claimed for
  • Have capital, investments or property
  • Are working
  • Have a partner who lives with you
  • Have money in the bank or building society or any other account / investment
  • Are receiving other income that has not been declared.
  • If a landlord, who is paid directly, fails to notify the council that the person entitled to benefit has left the property then he or she may be committing benefit fraud
  • The employer of the person claiming benefit may be committing benefit fraud if they understate the number of hours worked / wages paid or incorrectly state that the claimant does not work for them.
  • Housing fraud initiative 2013