Rental Fraud

Sometimes we are made aware of websites that are falsely using our divisional logos. The false advertising is sometimes connected with rental fraud and the use of our logos is designed to add trust to the fraudsters operation. To check to see if a company is a member of our Association(s) please use our Find an expert search.

What is Rental Fraud?

Rental fraud is an advance fee type of fraud that occurs when would-be tenants are tricked into paying an upfront fee to rent a property. In reality, the property does not exist, has already been rented out, or has been rented to multiple victims at the same time. The victim loses the upfront fee they have paid and is not able to rent the property they thought they had secured with the payment.

Action Fraud provides the following advice to protect yourself from fraud:

  • Do not send money to anyone advertising rental properties online until you are certain the advertiser is genuine.
  • If you need to secure accommodation in the UK from overseas, seek the help of the employer or university you are coming to, or get a friend, contact or relative to check the property exists and is available.
  • Do not pay any money until you or a reliable contact has visited the property with an agent or the landlord.
  • Ask for copies of tenancy agreements and any safety certificates such as Gas Electricity or HMO Licence.
  • Do not be pressurised into transferring large sums of money. Transfer funds to a bank account having obtained the details by contacting the landlord or agent directly after the above steps have been followed. Be sceptical if you’re asked to transfer any money via a money transfer service like Western Union.

If fraud has been committed, report it to Action Fraud. Since February 2013, Propertymark has reported 155 websites to Action Fraud. Below are the high-risk websites that we have recently reported to Action Fraud:

  • - June 2017
  • - May 2017
  • March 2017
  • - January 2017