WARNING: Tenancy fraud up 140% in a year, reports rental platform

An analysis of over 600,000 tenancy applications has found that the number of fraudulent applications has soared, says Goodlord.

Tenancy fraud

In the last 12 months, the number of fraudulent tenancy applications has increased 140%, according to analysis by tenant referencing company, Goodlord.

When comparing a sample size of more than 300,000 tenancy applications from 2022 with a similar amount from 2023, the data shows that cases of tenancy fraud per application have risen from 1.2 in every 1,000 to 2.9.

The most common form of fraud seen by the fraud fighting experts at Goodlord is payslip fraud – where tenants either boost the amount of income they’re receiving or edit its source, such as changing a company name. Methods used range from rudimentary editing through to the use of sophisticated photoshopping tools.


Other forms of fraud picked up over the last year include providing false passport images, doctoring bank statements, offering fake references, and claiming to work for companies that don’t exist.

Pay slip fraud accounted for 58% of all fraud cases detected.”

In 2023 alone, pay slip fraud accounted for 58% of all fraud cases detected and caught by Goodlord. Even one of these slipping through could cost the agent a lifetime landlord value of £10,000.

Despite the overwhelming majority of applications being above board, the rise in fraud over the last year highlights the need for robust safeguards against rental market manipulation.

Nishma Parekh, Head of Referencing, Goodlord
Nishma Parekh, Head of Referencing, Goodlord

Nishma Parekh, Head of Referencing at Goodlord, commented: “Given the current pressures on the housing market, it’s understandable as to why we’re seeing a rise in this type of fraud. However, this is inadvisable as you could end up on the National Fraud Database, impacting future job prospects and other life events such as securing loans. And, of course, there is also a much darker side to fraud, such as criminals using false IDs to secure properties, or people who are looking to sign tenancies using forged documents.

“As the tools used to commit fraud grow more sophisticated and personal information is increasingly digitised, it’s vital that landlords and agents can access the cutting-edge technology designed to fight back – ones that can protect them and ensure they can let their properties out in good faith.”

Referencing teams are being trained to spot the inconsistencies which give away fraudulent applications in the face of increasingly inventive tricks. Companies like Goodlord are also harnessing Open Banking and AI tools to detect and prevent potential fraud, as well as building in systems which can spot repeat offenders.

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