Most Common Rental Frauds and How to Recognize Them
When you rent a new house, you feel overexcited. In your excitement, you make minor mistakes which prove helpful for the scammers. Scammers try to take benefit of your emotions because they are highly involved in the process of apartment-hunting. They play tricks on those apartment hunters who are in crunch time.
What is a Tenant Scam?
The scammer tries to get money from tenants for a flat that scammer is in no legal position to rent. The house might be real, but the scammer is more likely an impostor.
Scammers typically get money from people for an apartment and then disappear. Sometimes when scammers find an empty house, they show it to tenants and pretend to be a landlord or a broker.
1. Hire Professionals to Rent a House
Before renting your flat, you should consult a professional. He will be particularly helpful if you have never rented before. He can help you out in this process. You can find people as your rental references, like your co-workers, family, and friends. These people can inform your landlord, based on their experience working with you, that you will be a great tenant.
2. Talk to Previous and Current Tenants
If you find a property for rent, one of the best ways to check whether the landlord is a trustworthy person is to contact current or previous tenants of this property. Sometimes, the landlord provides all the references and sometimes you’ll have to research yourself.
3. Don’t Go for Verbal Lease
When your landlord tries to trap you in his sugar-coated words. They give confidence to their clients regarding their property and avoid a written lease. They verbally promise to provide all the facilities. But, you should always go for the written contract. Without a written agreement you cannot claim for anything.
4. If Landlord Seems too Eager to Negotiate the Rent
Many landlords seem eager to negotiate the rent. If you are dealing with such a landlord who is more interested in getting his rent, it is suspicious. Don’t pay the cash before signing the agreement, or walk away.
If you notice your landlord is more interested in rent and he is not providing you legal information on the flat it could be the sign of a scam.
5. Check the Markets Rates
Before finalizing the rent, you must check the market rates on the internet. You can approach different real estate companies to get the information.
Your landlord can convince and overcharge you for it. But if you knew the rates already, you can save your money.
6. Don’t Skip Lawyer’s Review
It’s in scammer’s best interest for you to skip lawyer’s review. When your landlord told you that there’s no need for a lawyer to review the lease, it could be a warning that your landlord is a scammer. Perhaps he already leased the house, he is not the original owner of this property, or he might not be a good person.
Signs of a Scam:
- Landlord demand payment in cash
- The house is cheaper than other apartments in the area
- The landlord avoids meeting in person
- The picture of the flat is uploaded on different sites with different contact information
- The landlord asks for a large amount of money in advance to rent a house