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Landlords Beware: fraudulent tenancy applications soar

There’s a warning that there’s been a huge rise in fraudulent tenant applications since the start of the pandemic.

In terms of value of fraudulent applications, there’s been a startling 263 per cent increase in just three months according to tenant due diligence and guarantee firm Homeppl.

The firm’s detection tests suggests two per cent of all tenant applications are fraudulent on average across the country - but in some areas it’s five per cent.

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While professional fraud remains a problem, it’s amateur fraud that has seen the biggest rise, in most part as a result of the pandemic.

Common techniques used by amateur fraudsters are fake IDs, including passports and driving licences, and doctored documentation such as payslips, bank statements, letters of employment, proof of address and proof of study, as well as fake email and websites to mimic employers and references.

Alexander Siedes, chief executive of Homeppl says: “One in 50 of all tenant applications we handled in Q1 2021 was fraudulent. But this was even more prevalent for particular clients as a result of the areas they work in and their client demographic. 

“For one of our London-based clients, where there are high value properties and a broad tenant demographic, one in 20 of all tenant applications were fraudulent.

“Due to the location, a lot of this was professional fraud - when the tenant is attempting to take possession of a high value property and sublet it through short lets sites such as Airbnb to maximise income whilst defaulting on the rent to the landlord.”

Siedes adds: “Amateur fraud occurs when tenants aren’t earning enough to afford the property and this type of activity seems to have risen as a result of the pandemic which could be due to tenants being on furlough or losing their jobs.”

Want to comment on this story? If so...if any post is considered to victimise, harass, degrade or intimidate an individual or group of individuals on any basis, then the post may be deleted and the individual immediately banned from posting in future.

  • PossessionFriendUK PossessionFriend

    The Trust Registry ( CCJ recording company ) contracted by the government isn't fit for purpose ! A number of court orders don't make it to the CCJJ list which doesn't help.

  • Franklin I

    Tenancy application fraud can involve Estate Agents.

    Back in 2007, I registered my property for Let, with a reputable Estate Agent.

    After doing the reference checks, all appeared to be copacetic. The tenant was a chauffeur according to the Estate Agent.

    The Tenant even paid 6 months rent upfront.

    After meeting the tenant for the first after checking in/collecting keys, I learnt that the tenant was a mini cab driver and not a chauffeur as the Estate Agent had previously implied.

    After 6 months, the tenant who had 2 dependants at the time, now approached me with a proposal.

    She advised that she thinks she's entitled for Housing Benefit.
    She still had the same job and her circumstances had not changed!

    I advised the tenant, that when she took this property, she knew well in advance that she wanted to apply for Housing Benefit after a certain period.

    In short, this was an Application fraud to get in through the back door

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    I automatically reject anyone who promises to pay rent up front. It's not something normal people do.

     
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    ''Reputable estate agent'', I bet I know which one that is ! WHB??

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    So Rogue Landlords & Fraudulent Tenants what next.

  • George Dawes

    I'm refusing to let unless I get 100% gold 5 star references now , been burned in the past


    Anything dodgy ANYTHING and no let no way , not with the corona crap laws now

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    I agree George, no risk taking now.

  • Keith  Johnson

    No Guarantor who is a homeowner no let

  • PossessionFriendUK PossessionFriend

    What, do you mean tenants are actually lying ? Heaven forbid, I thought tenants support groups and MHCLG have been telling us there is only criminal landlords, not criminal tenants !

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