Watch out for Rental Scams
Almost one million people have fallen victim to landlord and private tenancy scams in the last three years!
Five of the most common Tenants Scams
Let and Run
Here, a con artists break into empty property and then rents it out as their own. Unsuspecting would-be tenants then hand over large sums of money as a deposit and rent, after which the con artist disappears. Never had over money on the spot to someone you dont know.
Conned into Debt
This is when considerable amounts of money are taken for hidden costs without the tenant being made aware of them in the first place. These could be fees for a tenancy inspection which they then ‘conveniently’ forget to inform tenants of, or charges for late rent payments, immediately putting people in arrears. Tenants are advised to check their tenancy agreements where all charges should be indicated.
Act of Good Faith Rip Off
A con artist will ask for money to be wired as a sign of good faith that a tenant is committed to letting a property. The landlord will ask that funds are wired to the tenant’s friend or relative to demonstrate that they can afford the property. They ask for proof of receipt and then withdraw the funds using the transfer details. Again never pay or transfer money to someone you have never met and ceratinly not anonymously!
Guarantors instead of Deposit
Instead of asking for a deposit, a landlord requests that a tenant provides guarantors. At the end of their tenancy these guarantors can become liable for unnecessary and extremely costly ‘repairs'.
Unregistered and Unprotected Deposits
Although a legal requirement, some rogue landlords still avoid putting tenant’s deposits in a tenancy deposit scheme and then withhold it at the end for unfair reasons. Check that any deposit you have padi, especially if to a private landlord rather than a reputable agency (but still check anyway).
See our section on deposits.