More fraudulent tenant applications slipping through the cracks

Major lettings agencies are being hit by fraudulent tenants who falsify information to gain access to properties, Propertymark found.

In one case faked references managed to kid an independent referencing company, resulting in 15 months of arrears and a convoluted route to possession.

Some tenants that manage to gain access to properties it them to run illegal businesses, occupy and not pay rent, or sublet without the landlord’s consent.

Propertymark said the strong competition among tenants, combined with the adverse impact on people’s finances caused by the pandemic, is resulting in more taking a fraudulent route to gain access to a property above competitors.

Technology is also improving, enabling savvy fraudsters to evade detection.

Daryl McIntosh, Propertymark’s policy manager, said: “The legitimacy of the documents submitted to agents are becoming increasingly difficult to spot, this is opening landlords up to more rogue tenants than ever before.

“This illegal activity is detrimental to agents and landlords and needs intervention. With the help of agents, Propertymark aims to raise awareness and call on governments and Parliamentarians for action.”

Propertymark’s Private Rented Sector Report for July recorded 101 prospective tenants per branch, a 15% increase from their June figures and the highest number they have recorded.

Agents have been advised to check Companies House for businesses submitted on applications as part of due diligence checks.

Leave a Reply