Landlords warned over using Gumtree to market their properties

25th April 2017

Landlords have been warned that listing websites are not suitable portals to find legitimate tenants. Recently aired on Channel 5, ‘Nightmare tenants, Slum Landlords’ offers a prime example of why landlords should steer clear of sourcing tenants on Gumtree.

Landlord Vicky Mcnaught quickly found a promising tenant using the popular listing website, understandably she was thrilled when the young professional moved into her flat. Unaware that his private education, successful career and string of positive references was completely fabricated – Vicky got a nasty shock when the tenant soon stopped paying rent, she later found that he had previously been evicted multiple times and racked up costs of £30,000 in unpaid rent and to top it off had even stolen furniture. 

“We’ve learnt that bad tenants are more likely to target [websites] because they hope they will be subjected to fewer checks. In the future, we’d always go through an agent – although even this has no guarantee. It’s the law that needs to change to make landlords less vulnerable to unscrupulous tenants” McNaught told the programme.

Loose rules for tenants aren’t the only way landlords can get stung. Scams are a regular occurrence on sites like Gumtree. This is after fraudsters posed online as landlords, asking for money in exchange for property viewings. The practice is rife across the internet, with false advertisements showing what appear to be attractive homes at affordable prices. 

Responses to the ads are met with requests for payments up-front. Potential tenants are told that the landlords live a long way away, and that they must provide a deposit in order to secure a viewing. Sometimes, these fees have been as high as £1,500!

Moral of the story – Leave caring for your properties to the lettings agents and selling your old wardrobe to Gumtree. Lettings agents are, and always will be, the most reliable and safest way to find tenants for your property!

For more information regarding the sale or let of your property, please call us and speak to a member of our team on 01273 645797.