Fraud risks for landlords

Many landlords are concerned about the risk of identity fraud. New studies into the subject have revealed the highest risk areas for landlords.

London’s East Ham area sees the most instances of ID fraud, according to new data gathered by Experian. Fraud attempts happen around seven times more often than the national average here. Some other London areas were also identified as high-risk spots, including Woolwich, Walthamstow, Bexleyheath, Stratford, Lewisham and Enfield, to name just a few.

The data also showed that Altrincham in Cheshire is UK’s riskiest location for identify fraud outside the capital, with a fraud rate that is three times the national average.

Some landlords throughout the UK are being defrauded out of their rental payments and sometimes even the property itself. Recently, Brian Kiddell, a tenant in Newton Abbott, Devon, was jailed for selling his landlord’s property on the internet and attempting to make off with the proceeds.

Kiddell initially rented the property under the name Paul Stevenson, assuming the identity of a man who had died in 2004. He then put the house up for sale using the name David Ayton. His scam unravelled when the property owner saw his “For Sale” sign while driving past.

Kiddell admitted nine counts of fraud, theft, and using a deceased person’s passport, and was sentenced to six years in prison. This was the third time he had been jailed for fraud. This is just one example of one of the more extreme fraud cases which have occurred in recent times.

Howard Lester, director of Balgores Property Group, said that although the Kiddell case was extreme, landlords should be aware that there are many con artists out there who are looking to rent homes for fraudulent reasons. One tactic they use is to pay a few months of rent in advance, with no intention of paying the rest of the rent due throughout their tenancy.

Another risk is that the property will be used as an address for the delivery of stolen goods, such as items that have been purchased using stolen credit cards.

Many of these fraudsters are very adept at what they do, producing authentic-seeming utility bills and identification such as passports. They know their way around the legal issues and are aware that they can stay in a property for up to six months before a landlord possession order can be put into place. In that time, they can run up many thousands of pounds in unpaid rent and credit card debts.

The best way for landlords to protect themselves against these scams is to thoroughly reference new tenants, take out rent guarantee insurance and carry out ID validation checks. The rent guarantee will make sure that the rent is paid even when faced with unreliable tenants. Finefair can protect your investment by helping you to take these important precautions against fraud and providing guaranteed rent.

Worried about Fraud Risks? Well don’t be. When you lease through Finefair you can be assured that the clients moving into your property are fully vetted and credit checked by the local authority.

We can offer landlords Guaranteed Rent on any type of property, regardless of location and size. Whether your property is in Newham, or Birmingham..we’ve got it covered.

Call Finefair Ltd on 0208 554 0500 to secure your rental income or alternatively email our team on