EXCLUSIVE: Referencing platform reveals latest sophisticated renting fraud

Referencing platform Homeppl has revealed how a fraudulent tenant in London tried to rent properties from three ©1999 - Present | Parkmatic Publications Ltd. All rights reserved | LandlordZONE® - EXCLUSIVE: Referencing platform reveals latest sophisticated renting fraud | LandlordZONE.

EXCLUSIVE: Referencing platform reveals latest sophisticated renting fraud

Referencing platform Homeppl has revealed how a fraudulent tenant in London tried to rent properties from three different letting agents who used its system, highlighting the severe challenges faced by landlords from tech-savvy criminal renters.

The platform says its systems were able to foil the male tenant’s initial attempt in March to rent a property via fake references and documents. It also claims that the sophistication of his efforts would probably have fooled most landlords or letting agents using traditional referencing systems.

The tenant, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, initially approached a letting agent but checks on Companies House revealed his claimed employer was a firm with no turnover.

A bank statement provided proved by him turned out to be a manipulated image and therefore a fake, while email addresses provided had only recently been set up and were only lightly used.

Also, website addresses for different companies and entities offered as referees were linked digitally to the tenant.

The fraudster then tried to apply for tenancies through two further letting agencies in April and May.

Unfortunately for him, all three agents used Homeppl to reference tenants and his name was flagged by the system and his applications refused – unlike in other examples we have .

“This example highlights the lengths that some tenants will go to in order to fraudulently rent a property which once they are in gives them the opportunity to commit further offences including illegally subletting or short letting on Airbnb or just to default on the rent,” says founder and CEO Alexander Siedes (pictured).

“Unfortunately, there is no penalty for a fraudulent application, so they will just keep trying.
“And given most tenant referencing is nowhere near as reliable as ours, it makes you wonder where else has he tried and been successful.

Siedes blames ‘sloppy referencing’ by some large referencing companies on the 8% rent default rates within the private rented sector, which he claims his system reduces to zero.

©1999 - Present | Parkmatic Publications Ltd. All rights reserved | LandlordZONE® - EXCLUSIVE: Referencing platform reveals latest sophisticated renting fraud | LandlordZONE.

Source : Landlord Zone More   

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Landlords exasperated over latest rent moratorium extension

A nine-month extension until the 25th of March 2022 has been condemned by landlords, says Tom Entwistle. ©1999 - Present | Parkmatic Publications Ltd. All rights reserved | LandlordZONE® - Landlords exasperated over latest rent moratorium extension | LandlordZONE.

Landlords exasperated over latest rent moratorium extension

A nine-month extension until the 25th of March 2022 has been condemned by landlords, says Tom Entwistle.

The British Property Federation (BPF), the professional body that speaks for UK commercial property landlords, is calling out the government’s decision for failing to recognise commercial property landlords’ contributions to the UK high street’s survival.

Last week’s announcement by business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng (pictured) that the government is to extend the moratorium on rent arrears – due to end on the 31st of June – for another nine months, has shocked many commercial landlords and their representatives.

The BPF has come out arguing strongly against the government’s latest move, while perhaps understandably the retail tenant’s body (BIRA) is all for it. The move has been welcomed by the British Independent Retailers Association (BIRA) “for the assistance it will offer retailers up and down the country.”

Legislation is set to be introduced later this session in parliament in order to, as the government puts it, “manage any outstanding rent debt” from businesses that have been closed during the pandemic.

Historical development

Going back to 23rd March 2020 the government announced, along with other unprecedented measures to protect the public and the economy, that commercial landlords were to be prevented forfeiting commercial leases and evicting tenants for non-payment of rent to be effective until 30th June 2020. It was subsequently extended until 31st December 2020.

On 9th December last year the Government announced what was bringing in a “final extension to protections from the threat of eviction” by extending until the 31st of March 2021. But then the restrictions were extended further until 30th June this year, then comes the shock announcement of a 9-month extension until the 25th March 2022.

The government says: “The legislation will help tenants and landlords work together to come to an agreement on how to handle the money owed – this could be done by waiving some of the total amount or agreeing a longer-term repayment plan.

“This agreement should be between the tenant and landlord and, if in some cases, an agreement cannot be made, the law will ensure a binding arbitration process will be put in place so that both parties can come to a formal agreement. This will be a legally binding agreement that both parties must adhere to.”

BIRA says:

“The extension to the rent moratorium and the ring-fencing of debt is another campaigning success for ,” says Andrew Goodacre, its CEO (pictured).

“It is obvious that retailers with rent debt incurred during the closure periods need further protection and more time as they look to re-build their businesses. At the end of the extended period, there will be binding arbitration to resolve any outstanding disputes – another Bira request.

melanie leech bpf

However, chief executive of the BPF, Melanie Leech (pictured) says the government in bringing in this long extension has “failed to recognise” how commercial property owners are “essential to the health of our town centres – to creating economic growth, jobs and opportunity.

“The majority of property owners have already reached agreement with their tenants on rent, and millions of pounds have been provided to the most vulnerable tenants in the sectors most impacted by Covid-19. That support will continue in light of the delay in the recovery roadmap for those businesses that need it.

“The property industry itself proposed this idea of ringfencing rent arrears for the most vulnerable tenants hardest hit by Covid-19 – to provide more time for these tenants and their property owners to reach agreement, where they have not already done so, on rent debt built up during the pandemic.

“Most businesses are now open and trading and the legislation required to focus protection on the most vulnerable and to create a clear exit path to deal with rent arrears should have been put in place for the end of this month when the moratoriums are due to expire.”

Full details of the new extension .

©1999 - Present | Parkmatic Publications Ltd. All rights reserved | LandlordZONE® - Landlords exasperated over latest rent moratorium extension | LandlordZONE.

Source : Landlord Zone More   

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