Action fraud has reported several cases of fraudsters posing as landlords in order to collect a deposit for properties they do not manage.
The fake landlords have been claiming to own properties offered for rent online. Prior to a viewing the suspects request that the interested individuals pay a deposit and sometimes a month’s rent upfront, implying that this money will be put into the Tenancy Deposit Scheme, and is therefore protected under government legislation.
After the individual pays the money, the suspect sends a bogus email purporting to be from the Tenancy Deposit Scheme confirming they have received their deposit. However, this is not the case as the money was sent directly to an account associated with the suspect and the victim is left out of pocket and without the home they had thought to be putting a deposit on.
Hertfordshire Constabulary has urged prospective tenants to always ensure you view the property with an agent or landlord before agreeing to rent a property, don’t be pressured into making a decision and to remember payments via bank transfer offer you no protection.
All PAL landlords meet the requirements for providing good standard rental accommodation and the scheme is endorsed by Hertfordshire Constabulary.