Our clients need to be aware of the latest internet scam to hit the buy to let sector. Fraudsters are copying legitimate property rental sites and taking deposits on properties belonging to other people. The Association of Residential Landlords says that the phony websites are often created abroad and are very convincing. The fraud works by persuading potential tenants to pay deposits without viewing the properties.

An agent in Norwich who has personal experience of the problem says that university towns are being targeted because of the influx of students looking for accommodation. Tenants are being warned not to pay deposits until they are sure that the property exists and is genuinely on the market and the person they are dealing with is legitimate. This is very difficult for people who live a long way away but it is better than seeing your deposit disappear.

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