Propertymark is alerting agents to ever-more sophisticated fraudulent documents being used in the private rental sector.
The organisation recently requested agents to submit their experiences of fraud in the sector, and it appears that even the most reputable referencing agencies haven’t picked up on some of the more highly advanced fraudulent documents being submitted.
Propertymark says the problem could be in part to the unprecedented demand currently on the private rented sector.
Its own market snapshot, released this week, recorded 101 prospective tenants per branch in July, a 15 per cent increase on June and the biggest monthly figure ever recorded. The report also highlighted a decrease in rental stock, leading to more pressure on the market and fierce competition between applicants.
Couple tha increasing demand with continuous advances in technology, and the income and employment credentials of potential tenants being eradicated by the economic repercussions of COVID-19, some tenants could be taking the fraudulent route to gain access to a property above competitors.
Daryl McIntosh, Propertymark’s policy manager, says: “The legitimacy of the documents submitted to agents are becoming increasingly difficult to spot, this is opening landlords up to more rogue tenants than ever before. This illegal activity is detrimental to agents and landlords and needs intervention. With the help of agents, Propertymark aims to raise awareness and call on governments and Parliamentarians for action.”
Agents should be aware of the ever-increasing issue and put in place additional due diligence checks such as checking Companies Housefor businesses submitted on applications.