Fake buy-to-let private landlords are targeting the classified website, Gumtree, in order to dupe potential tenants out of their cash, the National Landlords Association has discovered.
These innocent would-be tenants who commonly live outside the UK are looking for rental accommodation to house them while they study. They respond to the adverts and usually have an email conversation with the ‘landlord’ who then asks them to send money.
The money is sent to reserve the property to rent. When the tenant then tries to contact the landlord to make arrangements to move in, they have disappeared.
For credibility and authenticity, these scamming ‘landlords’ claim to be a member of the National Landlord Association and even use their logo and stationary.
Richard Price, Director of Operations for the NLA, said: “Tenants, no matter where they are from, should not send payment to advertisers before they are certain that the advertiser is genuine.
“Overseas applicants needing to secure accommodation before they arrive in the UK would be well advised to first seek the help of the employer or university they are coming to.
“They will be knowledgeable of standard practices in the UK and often have lists of accredited landlords and local letting agents.”
The National Landlord Association recommends tenants to check their website for a list of actual Landlord Association members and that victims should report to the UK police.
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