0:01 AM, 15th February 2023, About A year ago 2
Over half of fraudulent rental applications in 2022 involved fake or doctored pay slips, according to new research.
The findings from Goodlord analysed 300,000 tenancy applications submitted by people looking to rent homes in 2022. Whilst only a tiny fraction – just 1 in 1,000 – of these applications were proved to be fraudulent, 54% of those proven to be false involved payslip fraud.
Blake Richmond, managing director of referencing at Goodlord, said: “As the technology fraudsters use gets smarter, agents should ensure they’re deploying the best-in-class tech tools to combat it.
“The use of Open Banking, AI-based ID tools, and credit referencing software are incredibly effective at picking up this kind of fraud.”
He added: “It’s essential that agents and landlords look out for red flags in tenant behaviour. These include refusing to cooperate with Open Banking requests or, when it comes to the pay slips, using the wrong tax codes, missing out key sections, or forgetting to add NET/Gross pay. Having the right systems in place and an eagle eye on the details is vital to spot fraudulent applications quickly and accurately.”
Prospective tenants must provide accurate information about their employment status and income when renting a property, so letting agents and landlords can make sure they will be able to afford the rent over the course of the contract.
Those who might not be able to afford it may be asked to provide a guarantor, a trend which is on the rise. According to a recent Goodlord study, just under 15% of renters required a guarantor.
Tom Goodman, managing director of RentTech platform Vouch said: “We’ve definitely seen an increase in the number of fraudulent tenancies being picked up, as well as a rise in the creative means people are using to try and hoodwink the referencing process.
“A tech-led approach is the only way to ensure you’re spotting these dodgy applications. Too many providers are behind the curve on this and need to rapidly step up their defences.”
He added: “Agents and landlords can no longer rely on instinct or document review – sophisticated frauds require even more sophisticated tools to combat them.”
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