When the topic of fraud in Property Management comes up, I am instantly reminded of the times I have seen this occur in an agency and feel the pain that is caused by these events. It doesn’t matter if these examples are recent or from well over a decade ago, they are fresh in my mind as if they happened yesterday. Mainly because of the severity and possible repercussions these could have. Fraud is normally premeditated and malicious, therefore highly illegal. I am mainly reminded of these scenarios so clearly because of the hurt the individuals in the agency have felt when they become aware someone they trusted has misplaced this trust and purposely harmed a client and put all of the business stakeholders at risk. Clients put a lot of trust in a Property Management business to act in an appropriate way with their money, and what could be their largest financial asset and the business has a responsibility to have robust systems in place to ensure fraud can not happen and protect their client’s interests.
In this week’s webinar we went through a range of areas fraud can occur in the Property Management business. Below are 10 steps you can easily take to minimise the risk of this occurring in your Property Management business.
- All change of bank account details (Creditors, tenants, landlords, Vendors, and Buyers) to be issued in writing and recorded.
- Establish a second point of contact for confirming the request. (i.e. phone & email)
- Have trust account sensitive change alerts setup, but this isn’t enough.
- Check all bank account changes monthly by someone else.
- Record a monitor bond refunds.
- Ensure unclaimed bonds are returned.
- Adjustments need to be audited regularly and sent to the unclaimed trust fund if required.
- Record written requests for allocation requests.
- Review your suppliers. The LIC to check each creditor as they are being entered.
- When doing disbursements, make sure you have a second person checking the payments file/report.