Rental scams and student information

Throughout this resource we have provided plenty of information for those looking to rent, on both the legal standings – as well as best practice tips for budgeting and finding a property to begin with.

In this section, we’ll provide useful details on the scams to be aware of and a checklist for moving into your rented accommodation.

Common renting scams

At s1homes, we do everything in our power to ensure rental scams don't get posted on the site or emailed to our clients or renters. It is virtually impossible to stop every single scam email from getting through our system, but hopefully by highlighting common scams we can prevent our users becoming victims.

The money order rental scam

Scammers will try to make the victim feel as comfortable as possible in order to gain access to their funds. Here is one way they do it:

  • The scammer posts a rental ad and makes the rental price extremely low
  • The victim finds the ad and communicates with the "landlord"
  • The scammer tells the victim they are out of the country or that they live in another country
  • The scammer asks the victim to prove they have the funds by getting them to wire money to themselves or to any of the victim's friends. This is supposed to make the victim feel better because they are wiring it to someone they know
  • The scammer asks to see receipt the that funds have been transferred through MoneyGram / Western Union or equivalent money order company
  • With money orders, the recipient can pick up the funds anywhere in the world. With the information on the receipt the scammer picks up the money

Please take all necessary steps to protect yourself online. Never provide sensitive information such as bank details, transaction numbers, or unnecessary personal information to third parties.

phone call
 

Top Tip

Always keep all emails, correspondence and records until you are satisfied that the deal has been completed successfully. If you have been the victim of fraud, please contact the police and report the problem directly to them.

Student Advice

If you're a student looking for rented accommodation, you're not alone. Students form a large part of the rental market - but their needs are quite often different from other tenants.

You'll probably only want a short-term lease - maybe nine months - and you'll probably need to share to make your loan stretch as far as possible.

In which case, plan ahead. Communal living can be fun and a great student experience - but it can be full of pitfalls if one person in a flat doesn't pull their weight, financially or otherwise.

If you’re planning to share a house or flat with other students try to make sure you all have your own tenancy agreements specifying which room you occupy.

That way, you're only responsible for your own share of the rent and can give notice separately from your flatmates. If all your names are on one tenancy agreement, you are joint tenants - which means if one of you moves out or stops paying rent, those who remain can find themselves liable for the shortfall and any arrears.

student group
 

Top Tip

Make sure you register for Council Tax. If you are all students, you will not be charged, although if one or more of you is not a student, they might be liable to pay something.