Whilst we may think we’re wise to the scammers and their techniques, there is an area of the market where more and more fraudsters are successfully conning innocent people out of their hard-earned cash, and that’s the property market.
With cases of Rental Fraud on the up, we thought it best to share our top 3 questions you should ask yourself when looking for a rental property to make sure that the rental home you choose is legitimate and rented to you through a reputable landlord or agent.
1. Does The Landlord or Letting Agent Have an Online Presence?
As social media becomes increasingly prevalent in everyday life, it isn’t all that surprising that posts will crop up advertising houses or apartments to let. Of course, there will be genuine posts, but be wary; social media is an easy way for scammers to lure their prey. Remember, if the offer seems too good to be true, it probably is. And it’s easy for a scammer to purport to be genuine. You can catch them out though; if it’s a letting agency, do they have an online presence? Are they registered with Trust Pilot? A genuine agency will have nothing to hide, and an online presence which shows how active they are. A Trust Pilot account will give you an indication of how their tenants perceive them, too, and how you may be treated. Tick Property Group have a Trust Pilot rating of “Excellent”, and you can read what our tenants have to say here.
2. Have You Been Allowed to View?
As a prospective tenant, you have the right to view the property before you move in. This can prove difficult, especially for overseas residents. Be wary of landlords or agents who ask for money upfront without allowing you to see the property first, as the property they’re advertising may not exist, or could already have someone else living there. This is happening more and more with short-term lets. Never hand over any money until you’re absolutely sure that it is a legitimate rental.
3. How Can I Check if the Landlord or Letting Agent is Reputable?
As well as looking for their online presence and public reviews, there are several organisations that any reputable Letting Agent should register with so you can be safe in the knowledge that the money you hand over to them will be kept where it should be. Tick Property Group are registered with CMP, DPS and PRS and Anti Money Laundering. For Landlords, look out to see if they’re a member of the National Landlords Association.
The key thing when you’re looking for a rental property is to be vigilant; if something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t. Never hand money over without ensuring the property is genuine and always do your research to ensure you’re dealing with a reputable agent. Remember, Tick Property Group is an award-winning agency who are on hand seven days a week to help and advise you on all your property needs. Get in touch today!
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