New policies to combat rental property scams
Making RentEzy a safe, reliable, trustworthy place for all
The internet is littered with scammers looking to make a quick buck off of vulnerable users. Online rental listings have long attracted the opportunistic eye of these malicious characters who advertise properties they don’t own in the hopes a renter hands over a bond, upfront rent, and other expenses without viewing the property in-person.
Not long ago, we published our experience with an online rental scam. In short, a woman ended up four weeks’ rent and a bond out-of-pocket.
The experience taught us a lot – not just about scammers, but also about what we stand for as a business.
We want RentEzy to be trustworthy and reliable. We want our property listings to have integrity. We want our site’s users to be confident in the legitimacy of our rentals.
So, we made a big change. We decided that each and every listing on our site would be manually verified. No proof of ownership (or authorisation from the owner to list the property) means no advertisement.
A change that couldn’t come soon enough
It wasn’t long until our new robust policies were put to the test.
In early May, Lynda Galway, Founder of RentEzy, received a call from a woman that wanted to delete her account but couldn’t – the man that hired her to list his rental property had changed the password. With a little investigation, Lynda discovered that the man had hired the distressed woman to advertise his phoney rental via a popular community classifieds marketplace. The actual owner of the property had contacted the woman asking her to remove the illegitimate advertisements.
“Luckily, I hadn’t approved the property because I followed our protocols,” said Lynda. “I am happy we have strong procedures in place. My policy now is if in doubt it, doesn’t go up.”
New terms and conditions to combat rental scams
Protecting our site’s users is our top priority. We have introduced new terms and conditions that are in effect from May 2020 onwards.
Here’s a quick overview of the new procedure. We suggest reading our full terms and conditions, too.
Advertisement authenticity and verification processes
The publication of a rental listing is subject to a verification process:
- The private property advertiser will be contacted by us via email after the listing is submitted. The advertisers must respond to RentEzy via email or phone.
- The advertiser must provide documented evidence that they are connected to the rental property. This might include a photo of the top of a council notice or electricity account.
Documentation provided to RentEzy will not be saved or kept for future reference.
The approval decision will be based on the following:
- RentEzy will not approve any private rental property advertisements without both conditions listed above being met.
- All new rental listings are moderated for authenticity and accuracy after they are uploaded for approval within 24 hours. Suspicious listings will be expired immediately and not be considered for approval.
- If verification is not provided by the advertiser, the rental listing will be deleted, and the user account will be deactivated.
- Advertisers have 72 hours (three days) to respond to any communications regarding the approval of their advertisement on RentEzy.
These processes have been put in place to protect all users from fraudulent rental advertisements.
A safer experience for all
Our commitment to these verification and approval processes set RentEzy apart. To our advertisers, we hope you understand that taking a few extra steps makes the experience for both you and potential tenants a lot safer. It’s all about securing positive outcomes for all.