There has recently been a case reported in the West Midlands, where a tenant has been conned out of £2000 after paying a deposit to someone who she thought was her landlord, but was in fact someone subletting a property illegally – posting an ad on Gumtree.
With the ongoing pandemic situation causing a shortage of rental properties available and an increased number of tenants looking for somewhere to live, emotions are high, and it would be easy for scammers to take advantage of those desperate for a property.
While Gumtree does have rules and guidelines for those advertising property to rent, it is almost impossible to police this fully, and tenants may find themselves out of pocket if they find themselves responding to a dishonest ad.
It’s a really good demonstration of why renting property through a reputable agent is the best idea. That way it’s easy to verify their claims, your deposit is safe and protected by law, and you won’t be needing to worry about whether or not your living situation is all above board.
If you’re not having much luck with rental properties at the moment, one thing you can do is ring round letting agents who are operating in the area you’re looking to rent in, let them know the criteria you’re looking for in a property (number of rooms, garden, proximity to transport etc) and they can hold your contact details on file, and get in touch if something comes up that they think would be a good fit for you.
If you’re currently looking for property to rent in West London, have a look at what we’ve got on offer at the moment by visiting our property search page. If you’re not having any luck finding something that’s suitable, get in touch with us and let us know what you’re looking for.