Ladybird Living – Your London Estate Agent

Ladybird Living
Feb 09 2023

Tenancy fraud in the UK: How can letting agents and property owners avoid it?

There have been many recent cases of referencing fraud in the UK. It is therefore important that letting agents and property owners are aware of the ways in which they can identify and avoid such fraudulent activity. This blog will discuss 4 things letting agents and property owners can do to reduce the risk of fraudulent applications.  


1. Make use of open banking  

One way to reduce the risk of fraudulent applications is to ask tenants to utilise open banking. Open banking has many benefits as it ensures greater security and provides a quicker way to verify the applicant’s income and recurring rental payments. Open banking also allows you to check how consistent the applicant has been with their payments which will help in identifying any inconsistencies that could indicate fraudulent behaviour.  


2. Check the ID of your applicant thoroughly 

You should ensure that you check the ID of your applicant thoroughly. Make sure the person standing in front of you is the same as the person in the picture in their ID. You can also do this more accurately by using facial recognition when undertaking checks. 

There are also other methods in which you can check the applicant’s ID, for example, you can use Identity Document Validation Technology (IDVT).  


3. Ask pre-qualification questions to identify unusual trends 

You can also ask applicants pre-qualification questions to deal with fraud. Some questions you can ask include questions regarding their earnings and job and you can see whether it matches your expectations. It is also a good idea to observe how the applicant responds to your questions. Impatience and inconsistent responses can suggest that they are potentially dishonest and involved in fraudulent activity.  


4. Let your referencing provider know about your concerns 

You should always inform your referencing provider of any concerns that you may have immediately. They should be able to conduct further checks and address any suspicions you may have. 


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