Thursday, 7 August 2008

Scams Affecting Landlords

In our last Newsletter we highlighted some of the scams designed to catch out unwary Landlords. We also asked Landlords to let us know if there were any particular scams they had been subjected to. The response was interesting to say the least. A whole range of scams are targeted at Landlords from the obvious to the not so obvious.

There appears to be a lot of faith ministers keen to send their daughters to the UK, along with promises of various cheques drawn on a range of both UK and foreign banks. One Landlord caught by this scam found the cheque bounced weeks after he thought it had cleared his account.

A variation on this is the number of models claiming to be coming to the UK to further their careers – including a number quite willing to send Landlords their photos.

As we reported in the last Newsletter there has been an increasing number of Landlords who have found their property used as cannabis farms. Quite apart from the damage that these ‘tenants’ cause to your property it seems that some local authorities and police forces have chosen to be robust in their dealings with the Landlords concerned. One landlord reported to us that well over £7,500 of damage had been caused to his property plus loss of rent.

Several Landlords contacted us to tell us about problems they have had with guarantors when the tenants defaulted on their payments. All of this is in addition to the more run-of-the-mill problems that Landlords can have with some tenants. For example, one Landlord told us that the tenant had stolen all the internal doors. If you have been offered half a dozen wood veneer doors we know a Landlord who wants them back!

Unscrupulous Letting Agents have also caused problems for Landlords. One so-called agent who arranged tenants for a Landlord failed to credit check the tenants, despite billing the Landlord for this service. The result was 6 months lost rent and considerable costs in removing the tenants. None of this money could be recouped from the agent. On the other hand there are also a great number of highly reputable Letting Agents who do a tremendous job for Landlords.

There is no easy solution to these problems. We strongly advise all Landlords to check the tenant completely before handing over the keys to an investment often worth hundreds of thousands of pounds. has just launched a brand new service called Check My Tenant. This service is provided through Experian, the leading credit referencing agency. Experian have over 25 years experience and offer you a greater selection and quality of data than any other credit referencing agency. They are a global company offering market leading information and fraud prevention.

Through Check My Tenant you can reference your tenants for just £14.50 + Vat for an Instant Report and £24.75 + Vat for a comprehensive report. This service is open to all Landlords and Letting Agents. It is available on-line right now. Most tenants expect to pay you for their credit reference and we strongly advise every Landlord and Letting Agent to use this service.

If you have any immediate questions please click Check My Tenant or ring on 01352 759988.