The cause of the problem
Given the nature of the market in Darlington at the moment, people are desperate to secure new rental homes due to high demand and low stock levels. As a result of this, there’s been a sizeable increase in people happy to take properties without viewing them - this is often a result of living out of the area and relocating due to work.
At Venture Properties we will never let a property to anyone who hasn’t viewed it or at least had a friend, family member or work colleague view it on their behalf.
So, what are the scammers doing?
They are pretending to be landlords and posting details copied from other websites, such as Rightmove and Zoopla, onto other websites like Facebook Marketplace and Gumtree.
When someone makes contact to register their interest and is happy to take the property without viewing it, the scammers agree they can have it on the basis that an initial upfront fee up is paid. They may even use the correct terminology of “Holding Deposit” as this is what an Agent would ask for.
Physical viewings are a must
We strongly encourage all prospective tenants, even if they don’t let through Venture, to view the properties in person so you’re confident of what you’re purchasing. Worst case scenario, ask someone to view it on your behalf. Even if it’s not a scam, it’s essential to do this as photographs may not be up-to-date and don’t show everything in the property with problems being easily disguised.
Do your research
If you need to deal directly with a landlord, always ask them to provide evidence they own the property first before committing to anything.
They should have documentation from Land Registry to show this and if they’re genuine, they won’t have a problem. If you aren’t comfortable doing this, visit the Land Registry website, https://eservices.landregistry.gov.uk, to do a search yourself as it’s available to the public. This will only cost a few pounds but could save you hundreds if you avoid a scam.
If you think you’ve seen one of our properties online somewhere else and it’s not on our website, Rightmove or Zoopla, please contact us immediately to make us aware.
Go through a reputable agent
Going through a reputable agent like Venture Properties will put your mind at ease that everything will be above board and all the legal protocol will be abided by as we would check this for you.
If you have any questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to give our team a call on 01325 363858.