Finding the right property to rent is already a rather stressful process. The last thing that you want is to be caught in a fishy, rental scam after you’ve emptied your pockets and hoped for the ideal home. With many prospective tenants searching for rental properties online, the door has opened for those preying on the applicant’s honesty.
In order to prevent this from happening to you, beware of the rental scams by following these 6 tips and make sure you’re not taken for a ride the next time you decide to look for rental accommodation:
1. Beware of Bargains
If you come across a rental advertisement that sounds too good to be true, it might just be. Ads with a much lower monthly rental quote than expected should already be a red flag. It could also be that the property is in a bad condition which the advertiser failed to mention.
2. Double Check The Address
When you are applying to rent a property, be sure to ask the owner or landlord for the physical address. Do a thorough search and double check that the address does indeed exist and isn’t advertised on other platforms as for sale.
3. The Risk of Identity Fraud
If the agent or landlord is pushing you to pay a deposit to secure a booking or they are vague about the information that you requested, it should be a concern. It’s important not to give away your personal details freely, as they might be running both identity theft and property scams.
4. The Fake Landlords
A popular way in which these scams are run is by a bogus landlord. They might tell you that the current tenants don’t want the prospective tenants to come for a viewing and that you can view the property from the outside and pay your deposit in the interim. But in reality, they aren’t affiliated with the property at all and just hijacked a listing to scam you into paying.
5. Consider the Payment Options
For security purposes, never go to a viewing by yourself and don’t even let the thought of taking a cash deposit with you cross your mind. These days there are many payment options in place that will keep both parties safe. If the landlord insists on cash, arrange a meeting in a public place on an alternative date.
6. Request Proof of Ownership
If your gut is telling you that something is off, you could ask the landlord to provide you with the utility account of the property in question. That will confirm the ownership of the property and you can check whether the payments are up to date. If they are unwilling to share this information with you, it could be a possible scam.
These are just a few ways that you can protect yourself from becoming a victim of rental scams. Always trust your instincts, and don’t be afraid to double check and research every detail of the property.
Should you require legal advice or want us to represent your eviction case then feel free to get in touch with our team of attorneys here