When you are an apartment hunt, your focus is usually on finding a good new place in a neighborhood you want. While you may not be looking for a scam, keep your eyes open for any fraud in your best interest. If you are looking for your next rental property, these tips can help you discover and avoid common rental properties.
Be careful with unusually low rent
If you find a place with rental far below other apartments in area, Zillow says this can be an indicator of a false listing. It is common for scammers to copy and paste from an actual listing to a fraudulent with a very low price, Trulia says. This rental scam is often aimed at people moving from out of town and others who put money in particular, as it looks like such a good deal. There is a chance that it is the real deal, Zillow says, but continue with caution.
Don't give money in advance
If you haven't even seen the place of not talking about a lease, you don't have to give the landlord money, Zillow says. If you are asked to pay in advance, Trulia says you should go away. Be careful if a landlord insists on a bank transfer, as it is very difficult to stop a payment that is linked ̵1; which is what the fraudster expects.
Avoid a landlord landlord
When you apply for a rental property, you will likely be asked to receive financial information and employment control, and the landlord can do a background check, The Spruce says. So, if a landlord or real estate manager does not do much research or is too willing to negotiate the lease with you, it may be worrying. Scammers tend to want to speed up the process, so you are drawn in before you realize that something is not right, Moving.com says. So, if you feel pressured by a persuading landlord, you might want to go.
Be suspicious If you can't see the property
A common scam is that someone should play a vacant property (often a holiday home or one that is bank owned) as their rental, Trulia says. When it's time for you to look at the place over, they're suddenly sick, out of town or won't give you the address. Be careful if they ask for rent or deposit even though they do not prove to meet you.
A good landlord or real estate manager will show you the apartment, even if it means changing over for another day or having an associate leader take you through the property, Zillow says. You should never sign a lease without seeing a lease, says Moving.com. If you can't see it yourself, which can happen if it's a long-distance move, have a friend or family member you trust to go through the rental property, Moving.com says.
Zillow says you can help avoid a scam of:
- Searching for the property address online – this can show potential problems, for example, if a property is in foreclosure or the putative landlord is not really the owner.
- Avoid lists that are full of grammatical errors – a spelling error here or there is no need for concern, but landlords and property managers are likely to proofread a listing before it is published – so a list of many errors is a red flag.
- Do not give out personal information in advance – There is no need to provide financial information or your social security number when you are still searching for a rental.
Follow your instincts and move away from a situation that doesn't seem right or when you get pr essured. Knowing any signs of potential lease may help you avoid being exploited when choosing your new home.
Originally published on October 13, 2012.