NLA issues rental fraud warning to students
The NLA (National Landlords Association) has issued a press release reminding would-be tenants to be vigilant when looking for somewhere new to live and how to avoid being scammed. The warning comes as many new tenants are looking for available properties before the academic year begins.
The NLA has released guidance about avoiding online rental fraud which was drafted in conjunction with the NUS and the National Crime Agency:
- Do not send money up frontto anyone advertising online, make sure they are genuine first and view the property if you can
- Beware if you are asked to wire any money via a money transfer service, criminals can use details from the receipt to withdraw money from another location
- Check the landlord uses government approved deposit schemessuch as my|deposits
- Contact the organisations the landlord claims to be associated within order to verify their status. Tenants wanting to check whether a prospective landlord is a member of the NLA or accredited should ask them for their membership number, then go to: landlords.org.uk/member-verification
- Overseas applicants needing to secure accommodation before they arrive in the UK should first seek the help of the employer or universitythey are coming to.
- Get paperwork and proof: ask for a copy of the tenancy agreement or safety certificates to confirm that the “landlord” has a genuine legal connection with property.
- Remember, if the offer is too good to be true, it probably is.
Carolyn Uphill, Chairman of the National Landlords Association said “Rental fraud is one of the uglier aspects of private renting and it tends to rear its head this time of year as students, particularly those coming from abroad, look to secure rented accommodation for the academic year. Tenants, no matter where they are from, should not send payment to advertisers before they are certain it is genuine and should contact their university who will have a list of reputable landlords and letting agents. If you receive official correspondence from a ‘landlord’ and are worried it might be a scam, often a good clue is that it will be written in poor English. Tenants should also remember they can check if a landlord is an NLA member or accredited by visiting www.landlords.org.uk/member-verification. Any tenant that falls victim to such a scam should contact the relevant authorities in their own country and alert the police in the UK via www.actionfraud.police.uk.”
Read more here:
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– The new rector of Aberdeen University Plans to Protect Students From Rogue Landlords