Students can be the victims of numerous different scams when searching for and trying to secure accommodation. We’ve put together some safety tips to be aware of for some of the most common scams out there.
We recommend reading through these and working through the How to avoid scams section in our Looking for Housing online module when searching for a new home.
Never hand over any money if you have not seen the property
- Criminals posing as landlords might ask you to transfer money (to them or to yourself) as a means of proving that you can afford a property or to show that you’re not a 'timewaster’. This is a scam which is prevalent on internet message-boards. It should be reported to the website administrator or the police.
- Services such as Western Union or Moneygram should never be used to transfer money to people that you do not know.
Does this person have the right to let the property?
- You can perform a Land Registry search online if you have the full address of a property. This costs £3.
- The name of the owner will be under the ‘Proprietorship Register’ (SECTION B).
- You can verify the full address of a property using the Post Office website.
If an advert seems too good to be true...
Exercise extra caution where you see a property advertised at an exceptionally low rent compared with other properties in the area.
Further searching for housing safety tips:
General safety tips:
Red Lion House Accommodation Scam
A group of scammers under the company name ‘Red Lion House Ltd’ have been advertising fake student accommodation on their webpages to International students, and have asked students to pay a large deposit upfront to secure their accommodation for the upcoming academic year. Please do not book or pay for accommodation with this company.
Important to know:
- If you are worried that you’ve been affected by this scam, please get in touch with Advice & Guidance as soon as it’s possible for you to do so. Take a look at Accessing Student Support and Wellbeing remotely for more information on getting in touch with the team during this period.
- To keep up-to-date with the latest scams on the rise, please take a look at our article Scams to look out for this year.