How to Avoid Scams
- Be wary of flats that are too good. Nice properties in central locations are usually more expensive, so if someone is letting a flat at a price far lower than the usual market value for that location, be on your guard.
- View the property! NEVER hand over any money without viewing the property first. A common scam is to ask for a deposit before they can come to Edinburgh to show you the falt. Don't fall for this!
- Don't take on holiday lets instead of a long-term lease. You won't have the same tenancy rights and therefore will not be given the same legal protections should anything go wrong. There are also rogue landlords trying to get round housing law by letting rooms ro students as holiday lets. so be aware.
- Don't hand over any money before checking that your landlord is registered at Landlord Registration Scotland.
- Beware requests for payment by Western Union, Bidpay or Money Gram (for transferring money) – these are often a scam!
- Be suspicious of requests for cash payment. Always get a receipt when you hand over money and don’t pay any admin fees.
- Bring or e-mail your lease to The Advice Place and get it checked over for free!
If you are in doubt with anything in regards to your lease, get in touch with us at The Advice Place!
Finding Out if a Landlord or Letting Agent is Genuine
All landlords in Scotland must be registered with Landlord Registration Scotland. You can find out if your landlord is registered by visiting the Landlord Registration Scotland website and entering the address of the property. We would strongly reccommend that you only rent a flat from a registered landlord.
If you cannot find the property on the listing, then you can call or email the council’s landlord registration team at 0131 469 5293 or email@example.com.
If you are renting a room as a lodger from a landlord who will be living in the property with you, then the landlord may not need to be registered in this situation. If you are unsure, come and speak to the Advice Place.
From 31st January 2018 Letting agents in Scotland need to be registered in the same way. There will be a statutory Letting Agent Code of Practice. If your letting agent is not meeting this code of practice then you can take them to the First-tier Tribunal of the Scotland Housing and Property Chamber who can enforce the code. Previously many agencies voluntarily registered for membership with the following regulatory bodies and may continue to do so.
Assocation of Rental Letting Agents
National Approved Letting Scheme
The Property Ombudsman
If you believe you have been the victim of a scam, visit our page on reporting a crime, come and see us or contact the police.
Last updated - 21st November 2017