How people commit tenancy fraud

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tenancy fraud

How both amateurs and professionals commit tenancy fraud

Amateur fraud occurs when tenants aren’t earning enough to afford the property and this type of activity seems to have risen.

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.

Another type of fraud that has remained prevalent throughout is professional fraud, which is where 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, and it is more prolific in certain areas.

Fraud is even more prevalent for particular agencies as a result of the areas they work in and their client demographic. For one of our London-based agencies, where there are high value properties and a broad tenant demographic, we’ve seen a high number of cases of fraud.

Alexander Siedes, our CEO, explains: “This rise in fraudulent tenant activity has been severely impacting real estate agents and landlords, presenting significant financial risks where, for example, long-term periods of rent are unpaid or the property is damaged.

“It’s vital that agents protect their landlords from fraud - whether it’s amateur or professional - by getting the right systems and tools in place. Otherwise vast amounts of money could be lost.”

To find out how to detect and stop fraud by reading our Tenancy Fraud Guide here >