The internet gives you access to hundreds of rental advertisements, but the ease of finding a place online can mean an increase in rental scams. Whether you lose your deposits, the landlord is absent, or your bank account is drained, rental scams can affect anyone and cause a lot of damage. Being weary and doing your research is vital when choosing a rental unit. Here are some tips to help you avoid a rental scam.
Trust Your Instincts
Usually finding the perfect place for a great price is something to rejoice about, but it may be indicative of a rental scam. If you feel that the price is far below normal market asking, then look more closely. If you feel that this deal is too good to be true, then it might be. Being asked to pay a fee before seeing a place in person is a major red flag.
Never sign a lease without seeing the place
You should never rent a unit without first seeing it. Even if it is not possible for you personally to go see it, have a friend or family member go in your place. The pictures that are posted online could either be very different or entirely fake and you do not want to find this out after you have already signed the lease.
Do Your Research
Research the property management company or the location you are hoping to rent from. If this is a rental scam then there will probably be some sort of information online if this has happened to people previously. Doing some investigating might just save you from being scammed.
Meet the landlord in Person
Never interact with the landlord solely through internet communication. If you do go to visit the unit and the landlord is not there because they are overseas, this is a major red flag. Even if this isn’t a rental scam, you do not want to be dealing with an absentee landlord.
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