An article in the Evening News dated Friday, 4th November uncovered an online property scam targeting potential tenants in Norwich. The scam, very much a “too good to be true” ploy, offered a flat in Wherry Road, Riverside for £500, requesting a £100 bank transfer to secure a viewing.
Once the money was transferred, the bogus landlord then blocked all calls to his phone and never returned the money. City Lettings cannot stress enough how important it is to do your research on the person you’re going to potentially be renting from and this underlines the importance of our role.
Tenant screening is just one facet to an in-depth process carried out by a letting agent. Our team ensure that any landlord that comes on board has undergone the necessary checks on both their conduct as a landlord and also the standards of their property.
This is a vital part of our role within the lettings process. Where a letting agent becomes integral to the process is matchmaking good tenants with decent, honest landlords – making the process much easier for both parties.
How to avoid being scammed
- Make sure you use a reputable letting agency
- Do your research – most of the time letting agents get a bad reputation from tenants who are unhappy because they’ve wrecked a property and lost their deposit, if a letting agent is consistently turning over their properties then they’re a firm you can trust.
- Read the tenancy agreement – using a letting agent means that your tenancy agreement will already have been looked over by an industry expert but if you’re organising your tenancy without one, tread carefully and make sure you know what to look for.
- If a landlord request seems unreasonable, always check first before handing over any money.
What to expect from a letting agent
If you’re looking to rent a property, either as one tenancy agreement ends or you’re looking to move out for the first time, consulting a letting agent is the first step to finding the perfect property for you.
The steps a letting agent takes are simple, fast and efficient and puts you, the tenant, in a great position to get the property you want. Paying that letting agent fee is not only beneficial for the service you’ll receive but also the peace of mind that you won’t get hit by the scammers out there who are looking to take advantage of every situation.