Every year Gumtree helps millions of users find a place to live, a flatmate or a tenant. And if you’re in that group, above all, we want you to be safe before making any decisions. Here are a few tips to help you on your way.
If the price of rent is unusually low, there might be a catch! Check other similar properties in the same area to get a good idea of what you should expect to pay.
It sounds obvious, but you should always visit a property before handing over any money to a landlord. People who are not willing to show you their property or meet with you before accepting you as their tenant might not be legitimate.
You should always find out who you are dealing with. Research a company online, and ask to meet the landlord or letting agent. You should always ask to see proof of ownership and the contract for the property – if you are still unsure after seeing a contract then seek legal advice from a solicitor, Citizens Advice or other legal body. For extra piece of mind consider renting from an agent that is a member of a professional accreditation scheme (eg ARLA, NALs, etc)
When visiting the property, ask plenty of questions of the landlord or letting agent. They should know the important details about the property and surrounding area. And if there are any current tenants, ask them questions too – you may learn something you didn’t know!
Never part with large sums of cash without doing the proper checks, and we always recommend that you exchange funds in a safe, public environment with witnesses and a contract agreement.
Never use Western Union, MoneyGram or money transfer services:
to send cash or payments to another party. These services are not designed for these forms of transaction. Click here to see some examples of fraudulent emails to look out for.
[link to Requests to use Western Union or MoneyGram]