Tenancy application fraud is on the rise

Tenancy application fraud is increasing. This is the warning given by Barbon Insurance Group, which includes HomeLet, Let Alliance and Rent4sure, and claims to be the UK’s biggest tenant referencing company.

Application fraud has spiked over the past 18 months, with fraudsters becoming smarter, said chief executive Andy Halstead.

‘The volume of alerts on applications is continually increasing, and in the last 12 months alone, we’ve flagged over 50,000 suspicious applications.

‘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’s April 2022 Rental Index data put the average UK rent for a new tenancy at £1,091 per calendar month, up by 9.5 per cent from last year.

With rising rents and a cost-of-living crisis, unfortunately more tenant applicants pose a potential risk to landlords, said Halstead.

‘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 their landlords by using high quality, trusted referencing checks from a professional partner.

HomeLet, Let Alliance and Agent Rainmaker are hosting an exclusive webinar for Letting Agents on 26 May. The session will cover beating the fraudsters and keeping business and clients safe.