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Property: Fraud

Question for Home Office

UIN 217069, tabled on 3 December 2014

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department is taking to tackle fraud by property companies.

Answered on

9 December 2014

The Home Office does not hold data centrally on the number of complaints received relating to specific businesses.

The Home Office provides police forces with their core Government funding. The allocation of budgets within police force areas is a matter for individual Police and Crime Commissioners, working with their chief officers and taking
into account local priorities.


The Government takes all types of fraud extremely seriously. We are working closely with law enforcement and industry to pursue and disrupt criminal activities, and ensure that the public has the knowledge to protect themselves.

The City of London Police is the national lead force for fraud, and runs Action Fraud, the national reporting point for fraud and financially-motivated cyber crime. All reports made to Action Fraud are analysed to look for links between
separate victims of the same scams. Where these are found, intelligence packages are sent to the police force best placed to consider enforcement action. In 2013/14, there were 40,000 intelligence reports disseminated to
police forces in this way. We expect this number to increase this year and are working with City of London Police, and their partners, to deliver further improvements. Extra Home Office funding has also been provided over the last
two years to assist the development of bespoke fraud units in every Regional Organised Crime Unit, which are now in place.

From 1 October 2014 all residential and letting agents must belong to an approved redress scheme which will provide a clearer route for both tenants and landlords to pursue complaints and help to drive up standards in the private
rented sector. We have also brought an amendment to the Consumer Rights Bill which will require all lettings agents to publish full details of the fees they charge.

Under the Tenancy Deposit Protection legislation introduced by the Housing Act 2004, all landlords and agents are also required to protect deposits for all assured shorthold tenancies created since 6 April 2007, in one of the
government-approved schemes, within 30 calendar days from the day the deposit is received.

Answered by

Home Office