A new survey of 1,000 tenants and landlords has provided a bleak account of the state of the private rental sector.
The report suggests that the growing complexity of the sector is providing many tenants and landlords with real challenges.
Just under half of tenants said they had never heard of fake landlord scams before, despite them receiving extensive media coverage in the last year.
During 2015, cases of rental fraud reported to Government body Action Fraud increased by 44% year-on-year. The Local Government Association suggests however that this represents just 5% of the true number of victims, as the majority of cases go unreported.
Worryingly, the Government says that fake landlord scams lead to £63m being lost by tenants in the last year.
Report reveals tenants’ lack of knowledge of rental market
In addition, the survey revealed a lack of awareness concerning Government-backed initiatives such as mandatory membership of agents in one of the redress schemes, alongside those for landlord licensing and accreditation.
Andrew Goodacre, Chief Executive of the RLA, observed: ‘While the vast majority of private rental sector landlords are providing safe and secure homes for renters across the country we are aware the criminal minority are out there. The Residential Landlords’ Association has always promoted tenant and landlord education to encourage a greater awareness of responsibilities among both landlords and tenants, which in turn improves standards in the sector.’