Whether you’ve just invested in your first property or you’re growing your portfolio, it’s never been more important to protect your rental from potential tenancy fraud.
With household budgets being squeezed by the cost-of-living crisis, it’s not hard to see where potential problems may lie. And while sympathy for those struggling might occur, it’s important to protect your income and any expenses an eviction could cause.
Utilising referencing providers, for example, such as HomeLet, LetAlliance, and Goodlord will save a lot of time and energy, offering you a more hands off approach. Capable of running the most robust checks on prospective tenants, many providers are now also working with AI technology to streamline their internal process for overall efficiency.
For those wondering what some of the checks are during the process we’ve compiled a short list of the following including:
• CIFAS datasets
• Financial sanctions
• Employment history
• Residency history
• Previous landlord referencing
• Credit reports
And most importantly, checking the identification of the perspective tenant to avoid advanced fraud.
Once tenant referencing is in place, as a landlord you can now apply for rent guarantee insurance (often referred to as rent protection insurance) to provide added protection if a tenant stops paying rent, as well as financially covering fees you may occur during an eviction process.
With many rent guarantee insurance providers on the market, the level of protection you can receive is dependent on the supplier you choose. A few highly recommended protection claims would include missed rental payments up to a certain amount of months, rental cover by a % of monthly rent after an eviction, legal expenses and of course a dedicated 24/7 helpline to ensure and confirm legal action.
While the previous two steps should ensure security, fraudulent documents can sometimes appear unannounced and as a landlord it’s still important to hold responsibility and accountability for your property.
If you decide to oversee incoming documents some of the top tips to spot forgery include:
• Paying attention to where documents have come from including official email addresses, and domains.
• Checking phone numbers through Google to spot any potential links to a person or business.
• Calling the numbers supplied with detailed questions to spot any potential red flags with the perspective tenant, or the number they have provided. If a contact seems hesitant or does not respond this would give cause for suspicion.
• Asking to see original documents rather than copies to avoid any Photoshop forgery.
Most importantly, by thinking laterally about dates, provided names, and more, these first steps will educate your choices and your portfolio.
While most tenancy applications are honest, it is true that numbers of fraudulent documents are increasing to prove affordability, and while due diligence is key, working with providers and suppliers to safeguard your investment is the most secure protection you can provide toward preserving your assets.