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Photo card to fight property fraud

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Harrow Council is to crack down on property fraud by introducing photo identification for anyone who applies to become a council tenant.

The council, which has 5,500 properties, will take a full-face photograph of new tenants and electronically link them to all documents connected with the customer.

Harrow LBC believes that this will reduce problems such as sub-letting - where a council tenant illegally rents a property to someone else while claiming to live there.

It believes that around 50 properties across its stock are affected by sub-letting, which cheats the 5,000 families and individuals on the waiting list for a council property.

The new scheme will complement the council’s other systems, which include documentary proof of identity and address, checks on the Land Registry and Experian credit service and home visits.

“The only people a photo ID is going to inconvenience are those who think that council housing is some kind of get-rich-quick scheme,” said Cllr Barry Macleod-Cullinane.

“It will be a welcome addition to the checks we already run, and ensure that we offer homes and flats to those who really need them.”

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