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Trust and Safety Policy

Updated on 31/03/2020

Keeping Safe and Informed with Boomin

Boomin is all about transforming the property market for everyone and we pride ourselves on having the ability to let you know at the earliest opportunity when that property you have been searching for is going to become available. It is important to us that you have a safe environment in which you can conduct your search and locate that property.

Boomin is not an Estate Agent, Letting Agent or new homes developer. We are the providers of our Site. It is our Member Agents that display property details for you to view and we conduct checks on all of our Member Agents before they can list properties on our site.

We also conduct checks on businesses that advertise goods and services on Property Playground so that you can buy with confidence.

All of our Member Agents provide a professional service to their customers but there may be occasions where you may wish to raise a complaint about the service you have been offered, although we are confident those scenarios will be few and far between. Should you have a complaint that relates to an estate agent with whom you are dealing, then in accordance with our Terms of Use, you should direct your complaint to the relevant agent who will have a complaint handling procedure in place. If they fail to deal with your complaint to your satisfaction, they are legally required to be a member of an independent redress scheme such as The Property Ombudsman TPO or Property Redress Scheme PRS to whom you can further your complaint.

If your complaint relates to goods or services that you have purchased via a link to third-party sellers on Property Playground, then in accordance with our Terms of Sale any complaint must be directed to the third-party seller from whom you purchased the goods or services.

If you require any assistance or have any questions please contact us at [email protected]

There are a number of independent agencies that can help you dependent upon the nature of your particular concern:

Advice for Tenants

Shelter is a housing and homelessness charity that also provides advice for tenants who live in rented accommodation. Each country in the UK has its own website, which is listed below. You will need to select the website for the area that covers the property you live in.

Shelter England:
england.shelter.org.uk
Live chat is available on the website
Helpline: 0808 800 4444
Emergency Telephone: 0808 1644 660

Shelter Northern Ireland:
www.shelterni.org
Telephone: 028 9024 7752

Shelter Scotland:
scotland.shelter.org.uk
Live chat is available on the website
Telephone: 0808 800 4444

Shelter Cymru (Wales):
sheltercymru.org.uk
Telephone: 0345 075 5005
Advice for landlords

Landlord Action (England and Wales):
www.landlordaction.co.uk
Telephone: 0330 311 4366
There is a fee for this service.

Landlord Expert:
www.landlordexpert.co.uk
There is no membership fee.

Advice for freeholders, leaseholders and park home owners

The Leasehold Advisory Service (LEASE) England and Wales:
This is a Government- funded, independent scheme.
www.lease-advice.org
www.lease-advice.org/wales-page

Advice for residential sellers and buyers

HomeOwners Alliance:
hoa.org.uk
There is a membership fee to pay.
HomeOwners Helpline (members only):
033 0088 2050
HOA service enquiries:
033 0088 2051

Advice for newly built or converted properties

Each scheme will consider complaints against their own membership so it’s worth checking the membership before contacting them.
Consumer Code for Home Builders: (buying a new or newly converted property)
www.consumercode.co.uk

Consumer Code for New Homes:
www.consumercodefornewhomes.com
NHBC: (building warranties)
www.nhbc.co.uk

General consumer or legal advice

Citizens Advice:

Citizens Advice is a free service that offers assistance for a wide range of issues. Each country in the UK has its own website, which is listed below. You will need to select the website that covers the area where your problem has happened.

www.citizensadvice.org.uk

Citizens Advice consumer helpline: 03454 04 05 06
Textphone: 18001 03454 04 05 06
To contact a Welsh-speaking adviser: 03454 04 05 05
Textphone to contact a Welsh-speaking adviser: 18001 03454 04 05 05

Which? Legal:
Which? Legal is an independent consumer champion that can help you resolve your legal problems for a small monthly membership fee.
legalservice.which.co.uk

LawWorks:
LawWorks is a charity working to connect volunteer lawyers with people in need of legal advice, who are not eligible for legal aid and cannot afford to pay for legal services. The website has a search facility to find a service in your area.
www.lawworks.org.uk

Staying safe online

The coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak has impacted everyone’s daily lives. More people are working from home and spending time online.

Now more than ever, it is important for everyone to know how to stay connected, stay safe online, check the facts and remember to take a break.

Many people are using new services, apps or devices, such as webcams and tablets, to work or socialise at this time. You may also be using existing devices and services more often.

To help you stay safe:

Check your security and privacy settings

  • Adjust privacy and safety settings to increase security and control the personal data you share. Look for the ‘privacy and security’ or ‘settings’ on the app or website.
  • Review the security settings on your ‘smart’ devices. If your device is using a default or easily guessable password, change it.
  • Set up two-factor authentication. This is a free security feature to stop unwanted people getting into your accounts. You’ll receive a text or code when you log in to check you are who you say you are.
  • Update your devices. Using the latest version of software and apps can immediately improve your security.

Block unsuitable content

  • It is important to understand the website or app you are using and how they do things - find out in their terms and conditions.
  • If you see harmful activity, report it to the site. Platforms often offer advice on how to do this but you can also seek support at:
  • Samaritans
  • Mind
  • BEAT
  • To prevent unwanted content from appearing, set filters on your home broadband and mobile networks. The UK Safer Internet Centre has advice on how.

Protect against Fraud

  • Criminals will use every opportunity they can to scam innocent people. Beware of fraud and scams online including COVID-19 related phishing emails and text messages. There is guidance on how to recognise these emails.
  • You can forward any suspicious emails to [email protected], a new service run by the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) Suspicious Email Reporting Service. The NCSC’s automated programme will immediately test the validity of the site and if found to be phishing scams, they will be removed immediately.
  • Do not give out your personal information to websites or in response to emails/text messages you do not recognise or trust.
  • There is further information on gov.uk on how you can protect yourself from fraud and cyber crime.
  • If you think you have been scammed, defrauded or experienced cyber crime Action Fraud is the UK’s national reporting centre for fraud and cyber crime.

Phishing

This is an attempt by a fraudster to trick somebody into providing information over the internet or by email that would allow someone else to take money from their bank account.

Phishing emails can look as if they have originated from a real bank email address.

A common phishing email may ask you to click on a link that takes you through to a fake webpage to fill in some personal details.

They may pretend to have a property for sale or rent and they might email you after you have enquired about a property on another website. They could even use technology to make it appear like the email is coming from Boomin.

Be wary of emails that contain links that you are asked to click on. This could be sending you to a fake website they have set up and may ask you to log-in with your personal details. Only click a link or open attachments if it comes from a sender that you trust.

Check the facts

Not all information online is reliable.

Before you like, comment or share something online use the SHARE checklist to make sure you’re not contributing to the spread of harmful content:

  • Source - make sure information comes from a trusted source
  • Headline - always read beyond the headline
  • Analyse - check the facts
  • Retouched - does the image or video look as though it has been doctored?
  • Error - look out for bad grammar and spelling

Boomin will never ask you for

Password details for any online accounts you may have. If you are asked for personal information, such as your bank details or any passwords, do not give them out.

Property Fraud

Because of the high value of property anyone that owns or is in the process of buying a property may be targeted by fraudsters.

One of the key factors to gain protection against fraud is to ensure that you instruct a professional agent to sell your property and that both buyer and seller instruct a solicitor that is registered with the Law Society Find a Solicitor or a Licensed Conveyancer registered with the Council for Licensed Conveyancers CLC

All of these parties have a legal obligation under Anti-Money Laundering legislation to ensure that all parties to the transaction have been correctly identified and that they are entitled to deal with the property as a legal owner.

Properties that are vacant or rented out are at an increased risk of fraud. There is also an increased risk where a property is not registered with the Land Registry and/or does not have a mortgage.

You can check whether a property is registered at the Land Registry Land Registry Homeowners can use their ‘Property Alert Service’ which is a free property monitoring service aimed at anyone who feels a registered property could be at risk from fraud.

Once you have signed up to the service, you will receive email alerts when certain activity occurs on your monitored properties, allowing you to take action if necessary. If this is the first time you are using the service you will need to create a new account Property Alert

Where are the risks?

Fraudsters can intercept emails between the buyer and their solicitor and alter the bank details so the money is sent into their own accounts.

There are tips on how you can reduce the risk:

  • If you receive the solicitor/conveyancer company’s bank details by email, and don’t also receive the same details by post, phone the company to make sure they are correct
  • Never send your bank details by email. You should either phone them through or take them into their office
  • Be cautious if you are being pushed to proceed very quickly. This is a common tactic used by fraudsters so that emails are used

Other tips to guard against fraud include:

  • Fraudsters will say they have a property to sell or rent that is much cheaper than others you may have looked at. If it sounds too cheap, it may be fraudulent
  • You should never pay any money for a property before you view it
  • Where you are planning on renting a property exercise caution where you cannot meet the landlord
  • You should not be asked to give the deposit money in cash or over email
  • You should never be pressured into paying the deposit without signing contracts

What to do if you are a victim of fraud

Owners who are concerned that their property might be subject to a fraudulent sale or mortgage should quickly alert the Land Registry and speak to specially trained staff for practical guidance about what to do next by calling their Property Fraud Line on 0300 006 7030. The line is open from 8.30am to 5pm Monday to Friday. Email: [email protected]

You can also report to Action Fraud or the National Crime Agency.

Contact Boomin

Any questions or concerns please contact us at [email protected]

(‘Staying safe online’ contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3)