see below a message from Action Fraud:
rental fraud is an emerging trend with students looking for suitable
accommodation around August, before the start of the new term.
Fraudsters use a variety of websites to advertise available properties to rent,
often at attractive rates and convenient locations. Adverts will seem genuine,
accompanied by a number of photos and contact information to discuss your
Due to demand, students will often agree to pay upfront fees to secure the
property quickly, without viewing the property, only to discover that the
fraudster posing as the landlord does not have ownership of the property, or
often there are already tenants living there.
- Only use reputable letting companies.
- Do some online research such as using Google maps to
check the property does exist.
- Make an appointment to view the property in person.
- Always view the property prior to paying any advance
- Look out for warning signs, such as landlords
requesting a ‘holding deposit’ due to the property being in high demand.
- A landlord will usually conduct some due diligence on
any successful applicant. Be wary of handing over cash without the
landlord requesting employment or character references.