Between December 2018 and February 2019 there have been 28 reports of fraudsters pretending to be online landlords.
Prospective tenants have been scammed out £19,000+ (The Government Action Fraud Body). The scammers pretend to be landlords of properties advertised online, informing prospective tenants they must pay a deposit in order to secure the property. Prospective tenants are told the money is secured in a TDS (Tenancy Deposit Scheme); yet once the tenants have paid, the scammers will send a fake email pretending to be from the TDS. The prospective tenants will soon learn there is no property and their money was not protected, losing out on the money paid.
What you should do to avoid deposit scams:
- Make sure you view or use a reliable agent before agreeing to rent a property.
- Only transfer deposit funds when you are confident that you will receive safety certificates and a valid tenancy agreement for a genuine property.
- Only pay the deposit by bank transfer if you know and trust the agent/landlord (always remember payments via bank transfer offer no security if you are a victim of fraud).
Kings protects all deposits with the DPS which is government-backed. If you have any queries regarding your deposit do not hesitate to contact us.