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SAFETY ALERT !
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Renting safely

Renting? Here’s a few ways to stay safe
 
Every year Gumtree helps millions of users find a place to live, a flatmate or 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 it seems too good to be true, it probably is
    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.
     

  • Visit the property
    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.
     

  • Know who you are dealing with
    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)
     

  • Ask questions and speak to the current tenants
    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!
     

  • Payment
    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.
     

  • Personal Information
    Never provide personal information and documents over the internet. Only provide this information once you have met the person you are sending them to, have agreed to proceed with a rental arrangement. Requests for personal information by someone you haven’t met should be met with caution.
     
    You should also never conduct business with anyone who claims that Gumtree is involved in the rental or transaction. Gumtree works like an online noticeboard and is never involved in financial transactions, contracts and the handling of keys.
     
    Common Signs of Fraud
    Look out for these key indicators of suspect behaviour:

  • A landlord that mentions money transfer services such as Western Union, MoneyGram or escrow services

  • You’re not allowed direct contact with landlord – for instance that they live are abroad

  • You’re not allowed to visit the property before handing over payment or proof of funds

  • You’re put under undue pressure to complete the transaction


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