People are being encouraged to blow the whistle on housing cheats during Yorkshire and Humber Tenancy Fraud Forum Awareness Week.
Scarborough Council and Yorkshire Coast Homes have joined forces for the event, which runs until Sunday.
Representatives from the forum want to make people aware that when somebody with a council or housing association home rents it out without permission, or obtains a home through providing false information,
they are guilty of housing fraud.
They are using up valuable housing spaces and depriving families and vulnerable people on the waiting list.
The message that the forum is pushing this week is “Report tenancy fraud; it’s not right and it’s not fair”.
Across the UK it is estimated that 98,000 housing association and council homes are occupied by people who are not actually entitled to live in them, or who have obtained their tenancy fraudulently, either by unlawful subletting, obtaining a home by deception, or by wrongly claiming succession after someone dies.
Mike Randall, Yorkshire Coast Homes’ head of housing services, said: “I would encourage members of the public to come forward and report their suspicions. We are highlighting tenancy fraud this week to make sure that current and future tenants are aware of what it is and how to report it.”
Nick Edwards, Scarborough Council’s director of business support, added: “People who commit tenancy fraud are depriving individuals and families with the greatest need for a place to call home.”
Anyone wishing to report someone they suspect of committing tenancy fraud can call 0800 0568154.
All reports of tenancy fraud are treated absolutely confidentially.