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Safety tips for room seekers

As with any form of online dealing, it's always important to be careful and safety conscious when renting or letting a room. Here are our top tips to help you stay safe, plus answers to some of the most regularly asked questions about what we do to keep you safe on SpareRoom.

Quick tips




Do you pre check advertisers?

SpareRoom is a classified listings site rather than a letting agency. We provide an advertising space that lets users quickly place and view ads and it would not be possible to reference check every single advertiser on the site.

We do, however, prioritise the safety of our users with our own set of strict measures and tools to stop scammers from advertising on the site or contacting other users.

What we do to protect you

We have both manual and automated systems in place that pick up on the majority of attempted scams - preventing scammers from sending messages or placing adverts. We invest a lot of resources into maintaining this level of protection, and can proudly say that is the only flatshare site that protect users in this way.

Although the odd scam does slip through the net this is very rare. Our users will usually bring it to our attention immediately so that we can remove the offender and warn other users of their activities.

Only registered users are able to contact you through SpareRoom, so everyone is subject to our various checks.

Although it is important to remember that the vast majority of people are honest, you should always be aware of your personal safety when dealing with anyone online and take normal precautions when going to view properties on your own.

Update October 2017:

We've introduced new guidelines for viewings. We're now asking all landlords and agents to be prepared to show you ID before you hand over any money, including a deposit. The same applies to current flatmates if they're the ones taking the deposit. We're also asking people to let you note down their name - just remember you should never take a photo of anyone's ID.

Ask to see some ID before you hand over any money - a driving licence or passport are the best forms of proof - and don't be afraid to ask if they don't offer.

Don't forget there's a 'report this ad' link on every ad on SpareRoom. If you're not sure about something you can ask us to have a look or contact us for help.

Further advice

For further information on staying safe while finding a room see our book The Essential Guide to Flatsharing

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