OpenRent Community

Fake tenant enquiries

Have any other landlords found that some enquirers are posing as tenants, but it later transpires they are wanting to sublet the property as a HMO?

I have had one enquiry openly offering this service, another admitted her intention only when I asked who would be moving in; I later found that two tenants had booked a viewing but were connected to the person wishing to sub-let and seemingly deciding if they liked the property, before she took it on…! Others, I now suspect of the same tactic.

My properties always rent within days but this time there seems to be a lot of fakes and time-wasters.

rick 1. I always assume you are being told lies unless solid proof otherwise , that is a problem I am aware of, but not had it happen to me

I’m not that cynical, Colin :slight_smile:… Though I have learned to take what I am initially told with a metaphorical pinch of salt. It’s just that I have not experienced this level of deception nor people pushing their ‘services’ though this site, in over 10 years of letting out property.

Time wasters can be weeded out by the questions you ask previewing, thru openrent, thus not wasting everyones time. this removes about 75% of enquiries

Thanks for the advice Colin, that’s absolutely what I do - my question is about the sneaky HMO ‘subletting agents’ that I have never experienced before.

Yes I get it. You can only go by your gut feeling. I find that mostly my first impression is usually the right one .But we can all make mistakes. Your leases must state no subletting so you can only reaffirm and maybe get themto “extra sign” this portion for future reference.

You definitely need to be extremely cynical in this business failing which you will get scammed

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i have had loads of that nonsense going on, its underhanded for sure, i have had them outright lie to me to get in on a viewing and then hot sell me their pipe dream, i loath the cheap deceit, yet on the upside, it shows just how much the high street greedy est agy are struggling which is a definite plus so i keep that in mind to keep me sane.


Hi Rick,
Yes, I had one years ago. A female “nurse” arranged viewing (to be a sole occupant). Received a call from a nameless male saying they were running late. I’d left work early so she could view in daylight (winter). The suited guy did the viewing; the female just followed him around and said nothing. No questions asked! Not interested in details. He then offered to pay 6 mths. rent up front. I said I’d get back to him. Checked out his ‘own’ given address - looked like it was being used as a (not well-maintained) HMO with loads of vehicles in front drive/road; curtains hanging off, etc. I want control of who’s in my property. Plus, our L/A has now introduced “Additional HMO Licensing” - where L/L’s have to register/pay Fee where there’s only 3/4 occupants in 2 or more ‘households’ in the property - so, I’d no doubt have been fined further down the line (in ignorance as to how many would’ve been in there!)

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Hi, it’s not all bad. I had 3 genuine offers for this service just over a year ago. All were legit.
I now have a lease agreement with one couple who paid for the conversion, licensingand any upgrades required.

I have no complaints. The house is well looked after and the couple are now good friends.

Like with individual tenants, choose wisely.


These are people going for a Rent 2 Rent type of thing. Lots of gurus around promoting this.
Up to you to decide if they are trustworthy and get an ironclad agreement.

just remember anyone that’s reading this that if something is too good to be true it’s because it usually is and in this case what makes this situation too good to be true is one man offering to do everything give you the contract and they will deal with the independent tenants turn your property into a HMO wax it down, make your property the best property in the world and all of that nonsense yet at the end of the day there only interest is receiving money and as a result when something ultimately goes wrong the landlord or the owner of the property is automatically legally responsible regardless to any agreement you may or may not have with these rent to rent tight people especially the ones that want to turn your house into a multiple occupancy premises you should check with your local authority housing department in the private sector and they will be able to explain further that the owner is responsible so that means when you take that back seat to relax because someone else is dealing with your property for you then you shouldn’t really be relaxed as something can come back on you at any moment something severe goes wrong.
it seems to be a similar rule to the tax rule as I myself employ an accountant as many others do so also yet if you check the rules you will find that if your accountant makes a mistake on something like your self-assessment returns then ultimately they have no responsibility legally and it is you who is held fully responsible and you cannot mitigate the fact that you used an accountant when you are being investigated as that does not count as mitigating circumstances for incorrectly filling out such documents