Thursday 23rd August 2018
As part of the Citizens Advice Exeter and The Express and Echo weekly advice column we focus on housing deposits.
I’ve seen a new property advertised which I’d like to rent and am thinking about putting a holding deposit down. However, the rent is really cheap – should I be worried it’s a scam?
You’re right to be cautious if the rent is a lot cheaper than the market rate. Don’t be hurried into paying a deposit before you view the property and look at your tenancy agreement.
Viewing the property is important – not least so that you can see if it’s as advertised. If the landlord refuses, or is evasive, take this as a possible warning sign they are not legitimate. Even if you have seen the property, it’s still important to check your tenancy agreement carefully.
You should expect your tenancy agreement to give the name and address of the landlord, along with their contact details. Ask for this information to be added if it’s not already included.
If no contract is provided, or information on your landlord is missing, this is another red flag that the letting could be a scam.
Finally, it’s a good idea to see if the landlord is a member of a professional landlord association or is accredited by the local council. Membership isn’t compulsory, but it will mean they are legitimate and will operate to a minimum standard.
Trust your instincts and if in any doubt, don’t part with your money. For further help on identifying possible scams visit www.citizensadvice.org.uk or call the Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 03454 04 05 06.
Look out for our column next week when we focus on paid holiday entitlements.
The information contained in these articles does not constitute advice. Citizens Advice Exeter and The Express and Echo accept no liability for the information published. Citizens Advice Exeter is unable to respond to individual requests for advice through these columns. Copyright Citizens Advice. For the most up-to-date information, please visit www.citizensadvice.org.uk