Threshold launch campaign to highlight rent fraud in Cork

Threshold launch campaign to highlight rent fraud in Cork

Renters are being warned to be cautious of fraud scams taking place in Co. Cork.

A new campaign has been launched today by the national housing charity Threshold along with the gardaí and UCC Student's Union.

'Scamwatch' highlights frauds that are doing the rounds and offers information and advice to those who may be affected.

Deputy President of University College Cork's Students' Union, Kelly Coyle, said the shortage of accommodation does not help.

Ms Coyle said: "Particularly it happens with international students when they have paid a deposit for houses before they come over and then they get here and they are told that the key will be in a certain location and that the house doesn't exist and nor does the location.

"It was predominantly with international students getting scammed out of upwards of €1,500 which they were paying into bank accounts and then they were cleared out the next day."

Southern Regional Services Manager of Threshold, Edel Conlon, said: “We had two recent cases, students from Brazil were duped into paying €1,750 in rent for a non-existent tenancy.

“We strongly advise people to be cautious of a landlord who claims to be out of the country, can’t show you the property but requests a deposit anyway. Would-be renters should also be mindful that in some instances a scammer could be living at the property and showing a number of people around, getting a deposit from several people and then disappearing with the money.

"In other instances, the transaction appears normal until the renter finds that the keys don’t work and the ‘landlord’ has disappeared. People need to establish that the house exists, that it is available for rent, the identity of the landlord /agent and that the person advertising the property is authorised to rent it out."

“Our advice to anyone looking for accommodation is to resist the urge to accept the first place they see."

The campaign has issued a Scamwatch checklist can be downloaded here.

    Scamwatch advises would-be renters to:

  • Be aware of offers that appear to be too good to be true – if rent seems like a bargain, do more research by checking rental rates for similar properties in the area.
  • Use Google maps to verify that the property exists.
  • Never agree to rent a property without having properly viewed it and making sure you are happy with the terms and conditions of the letting.
  • Avoid paying in cash; and always get a proper receipt.
  • Never transfer funds in person, via bank transfer or through a company to someone claiming to be an agent or landlord of a prospective property without verifying their bona fides.
  • Ensure the keys work and that you get proper contact details for the landlord/agent.

More on this topic

One landlord has 241 properties linked to rent benefit schemeOne landlord has 241 properties linked to rent benefit scheme

Some landlords issuing 'fake cleaning invoices' to deduct money from tenants' depositsSome landlords issuing 'fake cleaning invoices' to deduct money from tenants' deposits

Labour demands reform of rented accommodation sector

Tenants urged to be wary of possible rent scams

More in this Section

Project diverting youths from drugs and gangs facing axeProject diverting youths from drugs and gangs facing axe

Ireland sees 43% fall in the numbers of children adopted from abroad since 2013Ireland sees 43% fall in the numbers of children adopted from abroad since 2013

Airport security worker sues Dublin Airport Authority over fall from truckAirport security worker sues Dublin Airport Authority over fall from truck

MP: Same-sex marriage change enjoys overwhelming support in Northern IrelandMP: Same-sex marriage change enjoys overwhelming support in Northern Ireland


Lifestyle

Christy Collard and Robin O’Donovan are parents to six children, but sustainability is still a cornerstone of their busy lives in west Cork.The family that composts together stays together

Ron Howard was happy to let the spirit of Luciano Pavarotti shine through in his documentary on the great tenor, writes Laura Harding.Hitting the right note with new Luciano Pavarotti documentary

Prevention is so much better than cure, says Fiann Ó Nualláin, who offers gardeners timely advice on guarding face and body against those potentially damaging ultra-violet rays this season and beyond.Gardening: Be skincare-savvy for summer

It's never been more important to choose flowers and trees according to their environmental needs, says Peter DowdallIn these times of climate change, choose plants to weather all conditions

More From The Irish Examiner