The Internet has been the saviour in many ways. Not only does it allow people to search for property quickly and easily, without needing to be in the area they’re moving to, it also makes it easier for landlords offering rooms to target people searching in their area. However, there has always been a darker side to the Internet and property sites attract just as many scams and fraudsters as other websites.
There are unfortunately rare online scams and people trying to commit fraud when renting out rooms or flats. As in any walk of life there are also some bad apples who are involved in renting.
As with any form of online dealing, it’s always important to be careful when sharing, renting or letting a property.
Here is our advice on how to stay safe when using Self-Letting.com
What we do to protect you (People + technology = security)
Self-Letting.com has a sophisticated system of automated filters in place that check every single ad, photo and video that comes in, we then manually go through these listings for any signs of scams or fraudulent activity. we’re good at spotting the signs.
Although the odd scam does slip through the net this is very rare and as we educate our users, they will usually bring it to our attention immediately so that we can remove the offender.
Only registered users are able to contact you through Self-Letting.com, making them subject to checks.
Keeping your email safe
We don’t publish anyone’s email address directly on the site. This achieves two main things. Firstly, it stops automated programs from scanning the site for email addresses they can ‘harvest’ and add to spam mailing lists and, secondly, we can monitor any communications made by fraudulent advertisers once we’ve spotted their ad. This means we can alert anyone to be on the look- out if we think someone has been trying to con them.
What you can do to keep yourself and your money safe
Be vigilant if something seems too good to be true it usually is. You should exercise caution if:
An advert seems very cheap for the area and the standard shown on the photos.
The advertiser claims they cannot show you the property and pressurises you into signing and paying before you have seen anything.
You are asked to pay anything via any other money transfer system.
You receive inconsistent emails where the English degenerates from the quality in the advert and initial email.
Always try to view rooms before committing to anything, ask to see a copy of the tenancy agreement and also never pay cash in hand
Although it is important to remember that the vast majority of people are honest it is also important to be aware of your personal safety and follow a few rules to avoid potentially unsafe situations when going to view properties on your own.
Try to get a work or other number from them that you can call them on to confirm the viewing.
Find out the exact address you will be going to and try to avoid meeting anywhere else.
Notify a friend, colleague or relative where you will be going, who you are meeting and what time you expect the viewing to end.
The vast majority of people are honest and you should not be paranoid, just take sensible safety precautions.
If you are far and cannot view the rooms we advise you speak to the advertiser on the phone and never pay.
We hope the above helps you enjoy the Self-Letting.com experience and good luck with finding your ideal room or flatmate.
If you’re in any doubt at any point then get in touch via the ‘report this ad’ link or via the number on the site and we’ll look into it for you”.