Telltale Signs Of A Rental House Scam

Posted on: 27 July 2017

The property market is filled with fraudulent listings targeting unsuspecting renters. Some of these scams may be easy to spot while others are cleverly disguised as the real deals. Here are some of the telltale signs that should warn you of a potential rental scam:

The Listing Is Unverified

There are numerous sites where people can list their properties for rent. Some of these sites, such as Craigslist, don't verify their listings while others such as Trulia verify their listings. Verifying a listing involves confirmation by an actual employee, meaning, at the very least, the property exists. This means it is better to deal with verified listings to avoid scammers who target house hunters with non-existent properties.

There Are No Accompanying Pictures

It's also wise to be worried about rental prices without accompanying pictures. Most likely the pictures are missing because the property doesn't exist or doesn't belong to the advertiser or scammer. For example, some of these criminals advertise real houses even though the houses don't belong to them. This means they don't have the access to stage the property and take the relevant pictures. Don't forget that serious sellers understand the old adage that a picture is worth a thousand words; they rarely list without pictures.

The Advertiser Is Renting On Behalf Of the Owner

This is another trick criminals use when they advertise existing houses that don't belong to them. Maybe the property is actually on the market and the owner is looking for a renter, but they are handling the process themselves without an intermediary. The criminal may tell you that the owner is away on vacation or is sick. It's true that there are people who rent on behalf of others, but scammers also love the trick, so it's wise to proceed with caution.

The "Landlord" Is Handing It to You on a Silver Platter

Lastly, you need to be concerned if everything seems just too easy and cheap. Maybe the asking rent is half the going rate in the area, the landlord (who may not be an actual landlord) doesn't mind low credit rating or isn't interested in performing background checks. These are tricks scammers use to cast their nets wide and drag in as many victims as possible.

Working alone increases the risk of getting scammed because you may not know all the tricks used by these criminals. Your best bet is to use a real estate agent with the experience and up-to-date information to avoid these scammers. For more information, contact companies like RK Rentals.