Council authorities are generally fairly accessible through various mediums. The aim of this article is to learn how someone can report an individual’s actions/behaviour to the council. Additionally, we will also explore the kinds of actions that may be deemed as fraud and require to be reported to council authorities as well as the anticipated consequences that the guilty party may have to bear as a result of being reported to authorities.
How Do I Report Someone To The Council?
You can report someone to the council by placing a call on the hotline number provided on your local council’s website. Alternatively, you can also email your complaint or send it via postal service. While the latter two may take some time, especially in the case of sending a complaint letter by post, a phone call, especially one placed during working hours between Monday to Friday is more likely to get you an earlier response.
People generally make reports to council authorities for the following reasons:
- Housing fraud
- Council Tax fraud
- Benefits fraud
- Anti-social behaviour
If you are reporting someone to the council for a Council Tax or Benefits fraud, you will be required to provide the following information regarding the person(s) in question:
- name of person
- address of the person
- type of fraud you think they are guilty of
You can make this call anonymously and will not be asked to share any information regarding your identity.
If you are complaining about the anti-social behaviour of a neighbour, you will need to share the following information:
- name and address of the person
- the type of anti-social behaviour (making noise, dumping rubbish, using your garden, harassing you or other neighbours)
- how often the behaviour occurs
- the effect of the behaviour on you (and your neighbours)
- steps that you (or any other neighbours) have taken to resolve the matter
- any other person/authority to whom you’ve complained before
What Is Classified As Fraud That Should Be Reported To The Council?
Council Tax fraud or Benefits fraud mainly occurs when someone does not declare a change in their circumstances so as to continue receiving council tax discounts and benefits payments. For instance, a council tax occurs when someone is claiming a council tax discount such as a single-occupancy discount of 25 per cent even though there is more than one adult occupying the premises.
Benefits fraud takes place when someone makes a false claim regarding their circumstances such as declaring themselves as single when they have a partner or falsely declaring reduced income and savings with the aim to claim benefits.
If someone is found to be guilty of any of the following situations, they are said to be committing Housing Fraud:
- false declaration of information when claiming a property (for instance misquoting something like having children)
- subletting the property that you are a tenant of without taking permission from the council or landlord
- continue living in the property that was owned/rented by someone else and you do not have to right to succeed
What happens when you report someone for fraud?
If you report someone for council tax or benefits fraud, the authorities conduct an independent investigation on their own to confirm the information that you have provided. Once they have substantial evidence against the defaulting party, they take action by sending them a notice that they have been found guilty of fraud.
This notice may also contain actions to be taken against them; which may vary from a fine to spending time in prison. The severity of the consequences will depend on the scale of fraud committed and its impact on the council tax discount or benefits that the claimant was privileged with.
If council housing tenants are found guilty of Housing Fraud, they not only lose the council housing that they already have but may also be banned from receiving the benefit in the future.
However, there may be times when a change of circumstances or a misrepresentation of facts is not significant enough to bear an impact on council tax discounts, benefits payments or the claim for council housing. In such cases, while the authorities will make note of misrepresentation of facts, no action/penalty may be levied.
The discussion in this article makes it quite clear that whether it is council tax or benefits fraud or even anti-social behaviour that someone feels the need to report to council authorities, the easiest and quickest way to contact them is to call on the phone number mentioned on their local council’s website. The other option is to send an email or use the postal service. While making such complaints, the complaint will be required to declare the name and address of the guilty party while they can stay anonymous themselves.
FAQs: How Do I Report Someone To The Council?
What happens when you report a benefit cheat?
If someone has been reported as a benefits cheat, there will be an inquiry by the DWP. Once proven guilty, the benefits cheat may lose their claim, be prosecuted, or be faced with a penalty. The severity of action against them depends on how serious their action was.
How do I report illegal subletting in the UK?
To report illegal subletting in the UK, you can inform your local council authority, the Unauthorised Occupation Team or use the Whistleblower Helpline. In either case, you can do so anonymously.
Can I find out who reported me to DWP?
No, the DWP does not disclose such information; therefore a fraudster (whether proven guilty or faced with an inquiry) may not be able to find out who reported them. In fact, at times the complainant does not disclose information regarding their identity so there is a chance that the DWP is not aware of the complainant’s name.
How do you tell if DWP is watching you?
You can tell that the DWP is watching you in case there are inspector reports from surveillance of your activities, your photographs, videos, audio recordings or correspondence being recorded, copies of your financial data like bank statements being shared or there are interviews being held with people you know.
How do I complain about overcrowded houses?
You can call or email or local council office if you suspect someone living in an overcrowded house; whether they are a private or council housing tenant.