Rental Scams-Protect Your Property

Rental Scams-Protect Your Property

Rental Scams

How to protect your rental property

As economic challenges persist, fraudulent activities have seen a surge.  Therefore, it comes as no surprise that some individuals resort to illegal means when struggling to secure a desirable tenancy.

Individuals engaged in fraudulent practices across the UK are current occupying thousands of properties, valued at a staggering £82 billion.

Approximately 91% of rental application fraud can be attributed to tenants attempting to hide their true financial circumstances, according to recent findings from Homeppl. Statistically, about one in 50 tenancy applications nationwide involve fraudulent elements.  This figure rises to one in 20 in London.

Given the high demand for rental properties and the intensifying competition to secure sought-after accommodation, certain tenants may push the boundaries of honesty. Below, we’ll examine some common examples of tenant fraud and offer measures to safeguard against them.  Let’s see how to protect your rental property from rental scams.

Fake ID

A huge amount of the fraud starts here, with a stolen or fake ID. It has become something of a business to produce fake IDs, with one man making nearly £300,000 from the money he earned from it.

Spotting the fakes requires some effort on your part, cross-referencing all the details you have with external sources to make sure the driving licence/passport is genuine. If you’re still unsure, take a look at this website for more tips.

Bank statements

It’s no secret that rents have gone up.  According to the latest data from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) the average annual rent increased by 5.3%, with rent increase varying across different areas in the UK.  For example, in January, rent increased by 10% in Sussex, compared to 2022. So, proving they can pay it is where fraudsters come into their own. Many of them use doctored or fake bank statements.

Check to see if the information on a PDF has been altered. If it has, then that’s a clue that the statement may have been tampered with. If you’re not sure, ask the experts or go to a bank to make sure what you have is legitimate.


Ever wondered why there are so many domain names? Well, some of them belong to entirely fake businesses. These have been set up to provide the owner with a reference that only they can verify.

There are several ways to check the veracity of the website – see how old it is. A recent website might suggest it’s been created for the purposes of providing such a reference. Be cautious, though, as there are plenty of new, legitimate websites.


Creating a fraudulent payslip, exaggerating how much a tenant earns, is definitely one way of trying to prove you can pay the rent. With more and more payslips now electronic, fraudsters are now able to create new versions of payslips but with slightly exaggerated figures to boost their perceived ability to pay.

Here at Callaways Estate Agents, we do all we can do to assist with your lettings process. We operate across the South Coast, including in Falmer, Worthing and Brighton & Hove, and have the experience and know-how of the local area to help you set the right price and attract the best tenants.

For more info about what we can offer, please get in touch with us today.

Have you been the victim of a fraudulent application? Write to us at