Searching for an apartment is never an easy task. All the calls you have to make and apartment visits all over in the quest for the perfect apartment deal. Due to the stressful nature of searching for a home some illegal practices have come up called rental scams. Rental scams do not only occur when searching for a premise to rent but also in the cause of one’s stay in the building. Rental scams are real and are not a phrase coined to scare potential house seekers, but the silver lining to this is that one can identify and avoid them. Living in the apartment of your dream is a delight, and it is, therefore, the reason why you should first read this article to prevent these rental scams.
10 common rental scams and how to avoid them
1. Fake real estate agent
When searching for a lease, we all are in a hurry to get the best apartment deal. It is here the criminals (fake agents) if I may use the term find the opportunity to offer fake apartment listing. The listing is very attractive as prices are at time a below market price. But there is a catch, they ask for an upfront fee that they do not return, and you end up falling for their rental scam. To avoid this trap search online from a legitimate site that operates in your area to get the collect value and list.
2. Fake credit request
If you ever find a rental listing that asks for a credit report be careful as it might be another form of rental scam. It works by requesting one to seek and issue their credit report on a link provided that redirects you to a credit report institution. Obtaining credit report is a crime but the list they provide is fake, and the reason for seeking your credit report is for them to make up to $ 18 from referrals. You can avoid such a scam by getting your credit report and never give it to an online requester while searching for a lease property.
3. Requesting money before you have the opportunity to visit the apartment
Just because you find an attractive apartment deal that you do not want pass you should not pay any money before you visit it. There are no legit rental listings that ask for money upfront and if it does it is an indication of a possible rental scam. Walk away or visit the apartment before you make any commitment to send money and verify the vacancy.
4. Withholding your deposit when you decide to move out
Most of us have been in a situation similar to this. When it comes moving out, it is required that the landlords give you back your deposit. But surprisingly this becomes a challenge full of excuse that did not exist previously and are irrelevant to you. Some landlords go to the extent of imposing allegations that you have damaged their property all for them not to give back the deposit. To prevent being in such a situation collect material evidence i.e. photos as evidence that you did not damage the apartment, and you can also take the matter to court.
5. Imposing repairs on the tenant
It is the duty of a landlord to maintain his or her building. If he asks you to do the repairs then, this might be a rental scam. Maintaining and improving is not a tenant’s job but rather the owner responsibility unless damage is caused by the tenant. To avoid being in search, a situation insists on paying the deposit or rent when all repairs are done to your satisfaction.
6. Copy and paste advertisement
Scammers copy legitimate ads but offer attractive incentives to attract more people.Some of these scammers may also create high deposit charge so as to leap as much as possible before someone catches up to them. You can avoid this by ensuring that you verify the advert by visiting the building or apartment site.
7. Increase of rental without notice
Rent arrangements made when you moved into the apartment should remain constant for the duration of your lease. In any case, an increase in rent should only affect those who are moving after the increase take effect and not the existing tenants. Any move to increase rent is an indication of rental scam and is by law illegal. To avoid such a situation, you can move to court to settle and stop the rise in rent.
8. MIA Landlords
A leased property that the owner seems not to be willing to be present when you visit the property should raise a red flag. In any case, the owner should at least send someone to go through the property with you.This rental scam is done by the landlord pretending to be away so as not to question about the full details of the house. Most of this houses are usually bank owned or belong to the scammer himself. Never view a property alone no matter the rash you might be in to find a place to rent.
9. Avoidance of some rental procedures
Another issue when it comes to renting is the paperwork. Though tiring and annoying, the paperwork goes a long way in providing legal and truthful claim to the property. So if you find an agents or landlords how is avoiding some procedure, you should trend carefully as this could be another rental scam. Avoid at all times dealing with agents who ignore some process no matter the reason they may provide. This will avoid many legal issues in the near future.
10. Unorthodox payment procedures
The method of payment can offer an insight into the nature of the rental agreement you are about to make. Cash payment is not the most suitable when it comes to renting a property as at times may not be issued with receipts. Many rental scams are conducted on cash basis avoid record keeping that may be traced in case of an investigation.Try to rent an apartment in buildings that have payment procedures that you can keep a record off.
You must be careful about the information you give out and most importantly to whom especially when looking for a place to rent. Rental scams have been on the rise, and it is important to always be on the look out for this practices.With the above information, you stand a better chance of avoiding rental scams when searching for your dream home.I wish you all the best in you search for an apartment to rent and kindly do share this information with your friends to avoid them being found in a rental scam.