How to spot fraudulent rental applications
How to spot fraudulent rental applications

As tough economic times persist, fraudulent activities have surged and it’s no surprise that some people resort to illegal means to secure their desired tenancy.

Approximately 280,000 properties, valued at £82 billion collectively, are currently occupied by fraudsters across the UK. Homeppl reported that 91% of rental application fraud arises from tenants attempting to misrepresent their true financial situation.

Statistics indicate that one in every 50 tenancy applications is fraudulent, with the number rising to one in 20 in London. Given the escalating demand for rental properties and the daily increase in competition for desirable accommodations, certain tenants have been observed to adopt extreme measures. In this analysis, we will explore common instances of tenant fraud and offer effective tips to mitigate such practices. 

Fake ID 

A huge amount of the fraud starts here, with a stolen or fake ID. It has become something of a business to produce fake IDs, with one man making nearly £300,000 from the money he earned from it. 

Spotting the fakes requires some assertiveness on your part, cross-referencing all the details you have with external sources to make sure the driving licence/passport you have is genuine. If you’re still unsure, take a look at this website for more tips. 

Bank statements 

It’s no secret that rents have gone up – according to the latest data from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) the average annual rent increased by 5.3%, with rent increase varying across different areas in the UK for example, in January, rent increased by 9.3% in Cleveland and 6.1% in Yorkshire, compared to 2022. So, proving they can pay it is where fraudsters come into their own. Many of them use doctored or fake bank statements.  

If the information is on a PDF, check to see if it has been altered. If it has, then that’s a clue that the statement may have been tampered with. If you’re not sure, ask the experts or go to a bank to make sure what you have is legitimate. 


Ever wondered why there are so many domain names? Well, some of them belong to entirely fake businesses, which have been set up to provide the owner with a reference that only they can verify.  

There are several ways to check the veracity of the website – see how old it is. A recent website might suggest it’s been created for the purposes of providing such a reference. Be cautious, though, as there are plenty of new, legitimate websites. 


Creating a fraudulent payslip, exaggerating how much a tenant earns, is definitely one way of trying to prove you can pay the rent. With more and more payslips now electronic, fraudsters are now able to create new versions of payslips but with slightly exaggerated figures to boost their perceived ability to pay.  

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