10:10 AM, 5th September 2013, About 9 years ago 3
The Office of National Statistics reported rental fraud has increased by 92% over the last two years.
The total cost per year of rental fraud now comes to £755 million per year, and on average it costs each individual victim £2,394 which works out to over 315,000 conned in the last 12 months.
Rental fraud is perpetrated by someone purporting to be a Landlord or Letting agent deceiving new tenants into paying upfront fees for a non-existent property, or to multiple victims at the same time for the same property.
Reporting on these figures Richard Lambert CEO of the National Landlords Association has the following advice for tenants.
“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.”
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