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Six ways to spot a fake landlord: Tips for tenants

August 1st 2023
6 ways to spot a fake landlord Tips for tenants, with someone in a hoodie on their phone

You're not alone if you're a renter struggling to find a home that ticks all your boxes.

With rents on the rise and demand strong, finding a place to call your own is tough.

But you must not let your guard down to fraudsters in your eagerness to secure a rental property in such a competitive market.

Last year more than 6,000 reports of online rental scams were reported. These schemes involve a fraudster posing as a landlord and advertising a 'property' for rent on social media. 

When a renter shows interest, the bogus landlord cons them into handing money over for a rental property that doesn't exist.

People can lose hundreds or thousands of pounds in such scams – and be back to square one in their property search.

So don't get duped. Look out for these warning signs.

  • The property advertised looks too good to be true, as the monthly rent is way below market value.
  • You can't view the property in person. The bogus landlord claims to be out of town, unwell or caught up with a family emergency.
  • The 'landlord' is willing to forgo the reference checking process and wants a quick agreement.
  • You're pressured to hand over cash to secure the property (which you haven't seen in person). Fraudsters like cash because it's untraceable.
  • You're asked to pay funds via an international money transfer company (these transactions are also difficult to trace).

The landlord isn't registered with a tenancy deposit scheme (TDS). By law, all landlords must be listed with a TDS.

Are you looking to rent a property? Contact us today – we're an established letting agent with a long track record.