Rental scams up 23% - How to avoid

Posted: 8/10/2023

 scam-464653__180.jpg

WARNING : Rental scams are increasing: With some renters become desperate for a property fraudsters posing as both landlords and letting agents are targeting them to illicit rents and deposits for properties that they do not own or control. 

Last year, there were 5,751 reports of rental scams nationally, or about 15 a day, up 23% compared with 2021, and the situation does not appear to be improving.

Recently, the BBC reported that somebody seeking rental accommodation ‘lost £13,000 in a fake agent scam’. Our agency has also had one of its properties copied and posted to let on Facebook in an attempted scam, although we reported the post and had it removed.

So how do tenants avoid being scammed like this? Here's a list:

  • Only search on PropertyPal.com & PropertyNews.com as these sites vet all agents first to ensure they are genuine and regulated.
  • Do some due diligence on your agent - check that they are registered with a redress scheme which they must be by law, e.g. The Property Ombudsman
  • Searching on social media or buy and sell sites is significantly higher risk as there are virtually no checks or safeguards in place.
  • Be very wary of someone asking for a deposit before you view, or accepting you as a tenant before they have met you. This should only happen for short lettings and should be via an agent or sites such as AirBnB where there are protections. 
  • Check if the rental property and landlord are registered: www.nidirect.gov.uk/articles/landlord-registration-scheme 
  • Use common sense - most people who get scammed have not!

 

 Key One Property offer a service to tenants who want to conduct due diligence before they take a tenancy. Contact us for more details. 

Back to News

 Click here for a competitive quote for Landlords Insurance  property-ombudsman NI Tourism Certified Accommodation to Rent