A new study by people and business finder 192.com reveals that one in ten people have been scammed by a landlord or lodger.
Rental fraud happens when would-be tenants are tricked into paying advance fee to rent a property. Last year The National Fraud Intelligence Bureau warned students to watch out for potential scams when looking for university rental accommodation at this time of year.
Fraudulent landlords are making are making £755 million a year from the scam, and costs individuals £2,394 per victim. 192.com has recently launched Background Reports, a service offering protection against deception and fraud.
Protect yourself with advice from the National Landlords Association:
- Tenants should always visit the property with the landlord or letting agent before handing over a deposit.
- Where possible, tenants should pay a deposit using a credit card or via a direct debit to gain some protection from the banks - never hand over cash.
- Tenants should look for professional landlords who are members of a professional body such as the NLA.
- If using a letting agent, tenants should look for tenants who are members of a trade body such as The UK Association of Letting Agents (UKALA) or the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA).
- UKALA members are required to have Client Money Protection in place which means that all monies given to the agent are insured.
- If the tenant is not sure about a letting agent, they should call trading standards before entering into any contracts.
Read more on the 192.com website.
Please note: Action Fraud is not responsible for the content on external websites.
To report a fraud and receive a police crime reference number, call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or use our online fraud reporting tool.