A PropTech firm claims to have saved a client more than £160,000 by preventing a criminal from illegally renting one of its flats in London.
A Build To Rent client of Homeppl’s was targeted by a US-based individual in their 40s. The individual applied for a three-bedroom apartment in East London for a 24-month lease, with a total contract value of almost £164,000.
The PropTech firm’s fraud detection process meant that their attempt was prevented before they could start defrauding.
It identified discrepancies within the application by analysing data points and documents, ultimately raising additional red flags that uncovered the individual. Further investigation then uncovered reports that the same individual was previously convicted of fraud outside of the UK.
Homeppl claims that illegal subletting and other financial crimes within the Build To Rent sector is rife, with a 364 per cent rise in fraudulent tenant applications in the sector reported in the past six months alone.
It says high spec BTR properties are an easy target for fraudsters as they don’t have to pay a deposit and – due to the existing referencing process many BTR owners have in place - they only need to pass one identity check before being approved.
It adds that many fraudsters are also aware of not needing to check the building’s quality as they are fully furnished and ready for tenants, meaning criminals from anywhere in the world can target high-value London-based BTRs.
A Homeppl spokesperson says: “Tenant fraud tends to be higher in London, while the BTR sector is increasingly being targeted, meaning high-end BTR apartments in the capital are hugely attractive to fraudsters looking for an apartment they can illegally sublet or conduct illegal activity from.
“Companies looking after these developments need to ensure they have procedures in place to identify these issues and stop them.”