Rental Scams in Self Catering Holiday
Since the middle of 2004 numerous owners of self catering holiday homes who advertise their properties on the Internet have been targeted on a rental scam.
The scam works by the enquirer sending a cheque far in excess of the requested sum, and then requesting a refund for the difference. After repaying this the property owner will find that original cheque has bounced or is bogus.
One person in France had the experience of receiving a Euro Draft that was actually twice the amount required. This was paid into their bank. A few days later they were bombarded with emails from the sender demanding the balance to be sent via a courier postal company immediately.
Fortunately their policy is not to send contracts before monies have been cleared and actually in their bank account. Their bank informed them that this would be fifteen days to clear the payment cheque. Well fifteen days passed and just as they were about to send the extra overpaid amount, they double checked with their bank only to find that the whole cheque was false.
A lot of people are initially taken in as the applicant makes a very attractive offer. They want to rent the property for several weeks in a quieter season when bookings are scarce. The offer of rent sounds good particularly if the owner of the property has a mortgage to cover.
Naturally the applicant never appears as he/she only communicates by email.These emails do not always make too much sense as the property owner for example could have been advertising a four bedroom luxury villa and the email will say that they want to rent a room/apartment and even bring their own furniture.
Philip Suter is a Director of JML Property Services - http://www.jmlvillas.com a UK based company offering Insurance products on line and a holiday home advertising service and management training with in the uk. He is a very experienced property consultant with over 30 years work in the Residential letting business and served in the national council of ARLA. He is a Fellow of the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) and a Member of The association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA)
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