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Warning Over Gumtree Rental ScamsNational Landlords Association issues warning
over rental scams posted on Gumtree

The National Landlords Association (NLA) say they been contacted by a number of tenants who have become victims of fraud after a new wave of rental property scams started to appear on Gumtree, the free listing website. The NLA has issued a fresh warning to would be tenants concerning the number of rental scams posted online by fake landlords.

Would-be tenants from overseas are being lured to apply for a number of attractive rental property opportunities across the UK advertised among genuine listings on the website, and after a brief email and/or postal exchange, the applicants are then asked to send money directly to the landlord in order to secure the rental property.

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Analysis by independent financial research company Defaqto has found that the number of buy to let mortgage products on the market has grown by 104% over the last three years – and that intermediary-based products have become even more prevalent in this sector.

Data extracted from Defaqto Matrix shows that the number of buy to let mortgages available has increased from 237 in October 2008 to 483 currently.  

In addition, Defaqto data also indicates that over the last three years there has been a marked growth in the proportion of buy to let mortgages that are available through intermediaries:

  • In 2008, 70% of buy to let mortgages were broker only products or available through both intermediaries and providers directly – this has now increased to 86%;
  • Over the same period, the number of products only available through brokers has grown from 24% to 60%;
  • The number of buy to let lenders has increased from 56 to 63 – 15 lenders only operate through intermediaries, 18 only distribute directly, with the remaining 30 lenders servicing both channels.

David Black, Defaqto’s Insight Analyst for Banking, said: “The last few years have seen significant growth in the number of buy to let mortgage products on the market.  This shows that, although the buy to let sector has contracted in terms of lending levels in recent years, the market is certainly becoming more buoyant with buy to let regarded by many as a potential growth area. Our analysis also indicates that intermediaries are becoming ever more important within the specialist buy to let mortgage sector, with the number of brokered products increasing rapidly since 2008. The key challenge for brokers is how to convert these opportunities for the benefit of their business. Essentially, they need to play to their core strength: giving advice – and this is particularly important in the buy to let sector where people are likely to need more guidance when selecting a suitable mortgage.”

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