Trading Standards urges agents to watch out for scams…

The Nationwide Buying and selling Requirements Property and Letting Brokers Crew is interesting to the trade to be eagle-eyed for scams.

This follows the surprising case which has hit Base Property Specialists, the London agency run by well-known agent Kristjan Byfield.

He has complained to NTSELAT relating to an organization calling itself Base Property (London) Restricted. This ‘different’ Base property firm has established accounts with the Property Redress Scheme redress service, the Tenancy Deposit Service and Zoopla; it has additionally stolen listings from a number of businesses and tried to cross them off as their very own.

NTSELAT can’t touch upon that case as it’s at the moment underneath investigation however Alison Farrar, it’s operations supervisor, has instructed Letting Agent As we speak: “Lettings scams have been a problem for a lot of years and might have a devastating impact on shoppers and companies. 

“Criminals usually place faux adverts for properties to let, or they reply to flat-hunters’ posts, claiming they’ve the right property. 

“The criminals pose as landlords or letting brokers and provide properties to hire, taking holding deposits, safety deposits and different charges up entrance with out permitting the possible tenant to see the property, usually stealing pictures and property particulars from unsuspecting real brokers’ webites. 

“This may trigger a lot of issues for the real companies who’ve suffered hurt to their id and popularity, in addition to costing hundreds to unsuspecting potential tenants.

“Earlier than the pandemic made this simpler for them, criminals would use quite a lot of excuses to elucidate why the property couldn’t be seen, claiming they have been in a foreign country, or {that a} tenant was within the technique of shifting out. 

“The victims would then pay monies up entrance through financial institution transfers or untraceable cash switch companies, and sometimes don’t realise the property doesn’t exist till the purpose at which they anticipate to maneuver in.

“The Nationwide Buying and selling Requirements Property and Letting Company Crew would urge all tenants to analysis any letting company, landlord and property earlier than agreeing handy over any cash. 

“It’s advisable to analysis the agent on a number of assessment websites and use the web if doable to verify the property is real. It’s additionally essential to verify whether or not the agent must have redress or shopper cash safety membership, with completely different necessities in England, Northern Eire, Scotland and Wales.”

Farrar urges any agent, landlord or client to report any suspicious commercials and get recommendation right here:

In England and Wales;

In Scotland;

In Northern Eire.

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