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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
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Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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is it an offence to submit fake documents to a reference agency

Resolved Question:

is it an offence to submit fake documents to a reference agency in order to rent a property?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Hi.

Thank you for your question. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will try to help with this.

-Could you explain your situation a little more?

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hello Jo,


 


Thank you for your quick response. My friend and I are trying to rent a property together for £3k per month. We have savings and we can genuinely afford it, but of course, letting agency requires credit checks and the ref agency in turn asked to provide income source and amounts. So we had to make them up. Is it an offence? - if yes, how serious? we do intend to pay rent and we have in our savings enough money to pay for 6 months. my friend is a single mother of 4.


 


Thank you.


 


Nathalie


 

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
In what way have you made them up?

Have you forged documents? If so, what?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

yes - letters from employers, confirming my employment and salary. and might need to make up bank statements showing the payments of salary.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Thanks.

I wouldn't go any further with this. You are describing a forgery at the very least and arguably fraud given the definition of gain and loss in the new act. They will not rely on fraud though. Forgery is the more serious offence so they will rely on that.

If you haven't done it yet in relation to bank statements it would be an extremely good idea not to do so. There's nothing you can do about what you've already done.

Also, if this came to light later then the landlords and his agents could evict you even from an AST by arguing that you only obtained the property by deception.

Go no further with this and withdraw if you can.

Can I clarify anything for you?

Jo
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thank you. Maybe, I was not very clear. I did not forge signatures - I asked friends to write and sign their letters as if they were my employers. The letters and signatures were genuine - it is just their content was not true.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

sorry, should I expect a comment to my last reply or is the session is now closed?

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
False bank statements would still be forgery.

They could drop down on fraud in any event though.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX clear now re: bank statements. But in relation to those real, but untruthful employers' letters - is this a fraud? is it likely to lead to a prosecution? are there any defences applicable to us - we just wanted to rent a property rather than stay homeless or a burden on the state. Thank you.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
I think probably that the letting agents would most likely just evict you rather than report it.

It depends whether or not the credit reference agencies do if the references have been submitted to them. They can be fairly ruthless.

If you have lied then that is an offence.

You could always offer to pay for the six months up front which would remove the need for you to be credit checked. Many landlords don't require this anyway.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 69537
Experience: Over 5 years in practice
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