Industry suppliers are linking up to host a webinar for agents this week outlining the growing risks of tenancy fraud.
HomeLet, Let Alliance and Agent Rainmaker - hosting the event on May 26 - say it will cover beating the fraudsters and keeping your business and clients safe.
HomeLet chief executive Andy Halstead warns that application fraud has spiked over the past 18 months, with fraudsters becoming smarter at a time when the UK is facing the biggest income squeeze in nearly 50 years.
“The volume of alerts on applications is continually increasing, and in the last 12 months alone, we’ve flagged over 50,000 suspicious applications” he claims.
“As demand for property soars and rental prices rise, tenancy fraud is becoming more profitable and many more chancers want to get in on the act. They’ll use any opportunity, and we’re seeing increasingly sophisticated methods being used to try to obtain access to properties to support criminal activity or sublet illegally.”
HomeLet says the average UK rent for a new tenancy has risen to £1,091 per calendar month, up 9.5 per cent in a year.
Rising rents and the cost of living crisis are factors helping to increase the pressure on household budgets, says Halstead.
“Unfortunately, this could mean that some tenants present a higher risk. Add rising fraud data into the mix, and the situation becomes a perfect storm.”
He is urging agents to help mitigate the risks and protect landlords by using high quality, trusted referencing checks from a professional partner.
There are more details of the webinar here.