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  • Writer's pictureSarah Ruivivar

Skyrocketing Cases of Tenants Faking Rental Documents

📸 ModelProp / Midjourney

Oh, the lengths people will go to secure that dream rental!

HomeLet, a leading tenant referencing platform, has reported a staggering 400% surge in cases of tenants falsifying documents over the past two years. This shocking revelation sheds light on the desperate measures some are resorting to in the increasingly competitive rental market.

The majority of these doctored documents, a whopping 90%, were bank statements, cleverly manipulated to inflate income evidence. The remaining cases involved tenants spinning tales about their employment histories or conveniently erasing criminal records.

Interestingly, these document-doctoring tenants aren't your typical 'career criminals'. Instead, they're regular folks driven to deception out of desperation, with some even harnessing AI to make their lies more convincing.

Rebecca Baker, Head of Customer Operations at HomeLet, expressed her astonishment at the intricate lengths people are willing to go to secure their desired property. From altering pay slip dates and employer details to hiding transactions and inflating income amounts, the creativity is both 'incredible and unsurprising'.

In one audacious case, a hopeful tenant applied for a £2,000-a-month property, claiming a £28,000 salary as a sales assistant. The crafty applicant had manipulated their bank statements so that universal credit payments appeared as salary income.

This surge in falsified documents comes amidst a backdrop of rising rents. Goodlord’s index revealed a 7% year-on-year increase in property costs in January. The average monthly rent for a property in England now stands at £1,154, with the North West seeing the biggest increase of 9%.

In this high-stakes rental market, it's crucial for agents, landlords, and tenants alike to stay vigilant against such fraud. As the saying goes, if it seems too good to be true, it probably is!

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