InSight Case Study: Metropolitan Thames Valley Housing

Tackling tenancy fraud

It’s estimated that tenancy fraud costs the public purse around £900 million every year, with around 100,000 social housing homes across the UK affected by some level of tenancy fraud. By using TAIM InSight, Metropolitan Housing over two years, managed to identify 113 proven cases of tenancy fraud, resulting in a saving of £1,323,000 to the public purse. 

Background

It was in 2017 that Housing Partners started working with Metropolitan Housing to implement InSight to help support them with challenges, such as identifying and supporting tenants at risk from the rollout of Universal Credit, assessing and managing tenancy sustainability, tracing former tenant debt and securing income by growing the sign up of Direct Debit payments.

At a glance

2018/19 performance

Stock: 63,000+ homes

Turnover: £411m

Re-investment: £258m

New homes: 1,037

Planned homes: 3,915

Arrears: 6.14%

Phase One

Throughout the financial year from 2018-2019, Metropolitan increasingly used InSight to identify tenancy fraud within their housing stock, which resulted in them discovering 54 proven cases of fraud including:

  • illegal subletting
  • fraudulent right to buy applications
  • refused succession application
  • abandoned properties

 

The public purse savings from these 54 cases is estimated at £693k.

This is made up of £684,000 relating to 38 subletting cases, and £9,000 relating to a refused right to buy application. Furthermore, InSight has identified 11 cases where the property was not used as the sole and principal home, three abandoned properties, one refused succession application and one right to buy refused application.

"Housing Partners gave us the opportunity to focus on potential fraud and the InSight solution enabled the business to focus on high priority cases resulting in clear success. InSight is an important tool for helping us identify tenancy fraud."
Chris Whiteman, Strategic Debt Manager at Metropolitan Thames Valley Housing

Improvements

In recent months, Metropolitan have merged with Thames Valley Housing Association to form Metropolitan Thames Valley Homes. Between them, the two organisations own and manage over 57,000 homes in London, the South East, the East Midlands and the East of England. Given Metropolitan’s existing positive experiences with Housing Partners, following the merger they decided to bring our services forward into the new organisation.

In Spring 2019 Housing Partners started working with Metropolitan Thames Valley to implement InSight for their Thames Valley stock, concentrating primarily on tenancy fraud.

Lisa Gilbert, Housing Services Manager commented, “Following the success the business has already seen, I’m really looking forward to implementing InSight to identify tenancy fraud and recover much needed homes for our tenants who are desperate to try and find a move via our transfer list.”

Phase two

Since April 2019, Metropolitan Thames Valley Housing have had continued success with using InSight to identify tenancy fraud. During the period from April – December 2019, there have been 39 additional proven cases of fraud, including:

  • 18 incidences of subletting
  • 7 cases in which the property was not being used as the sole and principal home
  • 3 refused succession applications
  • 10 abandoned properties
  • 1 right to buy application refused

 

The total saving from these 39 proven cases is estimated at £324k.

The future

Greg Andrews, Head of Customer Operations at Housing Partners, sees a bright future for InSight within the organisation: “The results Metropolitan have seen to date are outstanding and genuinely shows that InSight is a leading solution to help Housing providers identify and tackle tenancy fraud. I look forward to working with the Metropolitan Thames Valley team on embedding InSight in the organisation and continue to support them to recognise the benefits of this powerful tool.”

“The InSight solution has proved invaluable for the Income team; firstly using pre-tenancy checks to identify upfront any tenants who may struggle to pay their rent so we can allocate the appropriate resource and ensure the tenancy does not fail. Secondly, the ongoing work the team is undertaking to tackle fraud within our stock – in 18 months of using the product InSight has supported the recovery of 93 homes, which we have been able to reallocate to those most in need.”

Tim Millns, Director of Income & Leasehold Services at Metropolitan Thames Valley

 

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