International Property Rental Approval Certification

I‑PRAC is a verification platform that approves property owners and rental agencies around the world, protecting travellers from rental fraud.

A growing problem worldwide

You have found the perfect property – the photos look amazing and it has multiple five-star reviews. However, when arriving at your destination, you realise your dream property does not even exist. Suddenly you find yourself stranded in a foreign country with nowhere to stay, no money for alternative accommodation and no way of reclaiming the money.

Unfortunately this is happening more often worldwide, with travellers putting their trust in property owners and rental agents they don’t know. With fraudsters becoming more technical and investing time and money to create the perfect fake listing or the perfect fake agency website, more and more travellers are falling victim to this devastating type of fraud.

With popular booking platforms allowing fraudsters to list fake properties alongside legitimate property owners and rental agents, it is impossible to know who is legitimate and who is not. But now it is possible, thanks to I‑PRAC.

£7m
Amount lost to holiday booking fraud in 2018
(Source: Action Fraud)
5,000+
Number of UK travellers who fell victim to travel-related fraud in 2018
(Source: Action Fraud)
£1,380
Average amount lost by UK travellers affected by travel-related fraud in 2018
(Source: Action Fraud)
25%
Percentage of cases related to the sale of holiday accommodation in 2018
(Source: Action Fraud)

What Consumers Are Saying About I‑PRAC

Leading the way in rental protection

I‑PRAC is leading the global fight against rental fraud. With over 20 years’ experience in holiday and business rentals, we are committed to transforming the industry for the benefit of travellers, rental agencies and property owners.

Our in-depth and robust verification process is designed to ensure that every one of our members is a legitimate and professional operator. Anyone who registers their booking with I‑PRAC is also entitled to full compensation in the unlikely event that they fall victim to fraud committed by an I‑PRAC member.

Preventing rental fraud globally

I‑PRAC has a robust application process and carries out rigorous checks on rental properties, owners and agents around the world, using innovative verification technology and working closely with government agencies and utility companies in 28 countries including:

  • Spain
  • Italy
  • France
  • Sweden
  • Norway
  • Denmark
  • Portugal
  • Ireland
  • UK
  • USA
  • Canada
  • Australia
  • China
  • Ireland
  • Czech Republic
  • Croatia
  • Brazil
  • Bulgaria
  • Canada
  • Cyprus
  • Turkey

Why you can’t rely solely on
booking platforms

It can be easy for consumers to assume that a property listed on Airbnb or HomeAway is genuine. However, the fact that a property appears on such websites is no guarantee of its existence.

Online fraudsters are increasingly creating fake profiles on online booking platforms, populating them with fictitious reviews and high-quality photos designed to entice travellers into booking. Payment is usually requested via wire transfer outside of a platform’s secure payment facility, so travellers have no way of reclaiming their money once it’s clear they’ve been scammed.

So, how can consumers be sure a property is safe to book?

The only way to know if a property is genuine is by checking that the property owner or rental agency is I‑PRAC approved.

I‑PRAC gives property owners and rental agencies an opportunity to demonstrate their credentials to travellers by completing an in-depth verification process. Working with government agencies worldwide, I‑PRAC conducts comprehensive checks on rental agencies and property hosts, using sophisticated verification techniques that are unavailable to travellers. These checks include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Passport verification
  • Proof of property ownership
  • Proof of address
  • Proof of bank account registration
  • Proof of company incorporation
  • Verification of personal contact information
  • Verification of property listings, photos and reviews

 

When a property owner or agency is approved, they can add an ‘I‑PRAC Approved’ logo to their website and property listings. All logos include the member’s unique ID number that can be verified through the I‑PRAC member ID search.

Passionate about protecting travellers

I‑PRAC was founded by Chris Maughan and Mary Tangale, who have over 20 years’ experience in the short-term holiday and business rental industry. In 2014 they were contacted by a family who were stranded in Cannes when they found their luxury villa rental did not exist – leaving them £15,000 out of pocket, but also with nowhere to stay and no additional funds. Seeing the devastating impact this had on the family, Chris and Mary set out on a mission to protect travellers from rental fraud.

The Board

The I‑PRAC leadership team has decades of rental industry experience, having assisted thousands of holidaymakers and businesses worldwide. I‑PRAC also has an experienced team of approval managers, technical verification managers and support partners, including government departments and utility providers in over 28 countries, all of whom are responsible for the I‑PRAC verification process.

Chris Maughan
CEO & Founder

An experienced operator in holiday and commercial rentals for 17 years, Chris developed and launched I‑PRAC after witnessing a family in Cannes lose £15,000 to rental fraud. He is passionate about transforming the rental industry and making it a safe place for business travellers and holidaymakers worldwide.

Chris is also CEO and co-founder of AES Accommodation Ltd and AES Events Group, a nominated accommodation and events provider for companies including Google, Twitter, Spotify, Fox Channels and Disney, and exclusively manages some of the most luxury and sought after villas on the French Riviera, from Monaco to St Tropez. This experience was key to the development, design and launch of I‑PRAC.

Mary Tangale
CFO & Founder

Mary has been involved in the rentals industry for almost 20 years, co-founding AES Accommodation Ltd with Chris Maughan – and heading up its customer relations and client service function – before working closely with him to launch I‑PRAC.

With her extensive knowledge of property owner and rental agency administration, Mary knows exactly what is required to be a legitimate rental operator.

In her role at I‑PRAC, Mary looks after all aspects of operations and finance, as well as any legal matters. Based at I‑PRAC’s head office, she is responsible for managing member payments and renewals, and helping to drive business growth.

Managing Director

Over the past decade, Emma has owned and run several businesses, with a special focus on outsourced PA and call handling services. This experience is now helping her manage I‑PRAC’s growth and operational strategy.

Having seen the damage that can be caused by rental fraud, Emma is committed to making I‑PRAC a trusted name for anyone looking to book a holiday or business rental.

Heading up I‑PRAC’s application centre, Emma spends her days managing the ever-growing approvals team, which conducts the rigorous checks involved in approving property owners and agencies as I‑PRAC members. She also looks after the media centre, liaising with journalists and sharing all the latest news on I‑PRAC and rental fraud.

Having seen the damage that rental fraud is causing to families and businesses around the world, I felt personally obliged to take action.
Chris Maughan
Founder and CEO, I‑PRAC
Find out more

Registering with I‑PRAC couldn’t be easier. Simply submit your application, provide the required documents and, subject to passing our checks, you could be an I‑PRAC approved member within three weeks.