The National Landlords Association is advising students to watch out for scammers when looking for term-time accommodation.
The NLA receives complaints from student tenants every year about fraudsters who operate online, and the warning comes as many scramble for available properties as the new academic year is about to begin.
These scams trick students into paying an advance fee to rent a property, and in some instances fraudsters use NLA branding to add seeming legitimacy.
Scammers especially target those who try to secure property online. Typically once money has been sent the ‘landlord’ becomes un-contactable leaving the potential tenant defrauded.
The NLA issued the warning in conjunction with the National Union Students and the National Crime Agency.
Checks can be made if a landlord is an NLA member or accredited by visiting www.landlords.org.uk/member-verification
Scott Mackay, Spark Energy’s director of customer experience said: “We have many customers who are students, and we would always advise them when moving properties to ensure their potential new landlords are endorsed by the NLA. To be safe, you should only use an approved letting agent.”