We want you to have the best experience possible when searching for housing so it's important to look out for scams. We've put together some top tips on how to stay alert, avoid scammers and ensure the property you are looking to rent is genuine.
The RHSUHousemating Facebook group is a great way to meet other Royal Holloway students who are either looking for roommates to join their house or students looking for somewhere to stay. Over the years, we have seen the group grow and support many students in the Royal Holloway community.
Despite this being a private group, solely for the use of Royal Holloway students, this does not mean that scammers are not on the lookout for an opportunity.
On occasion, students who have posted about their housing search have been contacted by scammers to message them privately. They will then communicate with the potential tenant and ultimately manipulate them into paying a deposit for a property that potentially does not exist.
We have put together some top tips on how to stay alert, avoid scammers and ensure the property you are looking to rent is genuine.
Check the property actually exists. Use a search tool such as Google Maps to check the address of the property and that it is situated where you are expecting it to be.
View the property. This way you can ensure the property exists and see the condition of the house/room you are looking to move into. If the person is refusing to offer you a viewing of the property, this should signal that something is not right. Never hand over any money until you have viewed the property.
When you pay the deposit, it is preferable that the funds are transferred via bank transfer and not cash.
Ensure the communication you have with a landlord/letting agent is professional. This communication should take place via email and should not be aggressive, threatening or make you feel pressured. We understand students very often use social media platforms to communicate however these channels should not be used to communicate with landlords or letting agents.
Get your contract checked by a member of the team at the Advice Centre to ensure this is not a scam or fake tenancy. Email your contract to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject "Contract Check Request".
If you have any doubts or are unsure about anything related to taking on a new property, please do not hesitate to reach out to the Advice Centre and speak to us. We are here to support you and want to ensure you have a good experience when finding a new house. You can contact the team either in person at the Students' Union or alternatively reach out to us via email at email@example.com and a member of the team will be happy to speak with you.
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