A rental scam is a scheme where someone pressures you to sign a lease or give a deposit for a rental that doesn't exist or isn't available. If you're asked to rent sight unseen, or the rate for a place looks too good to be true, these are signs that you could be getting scammed.
1. Beware of fake listings
It’s essential to be vigilant against scams before it becomes too late. If a listing or deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Check the listing thoroughly for any apparent errors or vague information – poor grammar or spelling could be a sign that the supposed landlord is not credible.
2. Always do your research
Make sure the property you’re considering is legitimate. Always ask to meet with the owner and see the property in person. If the landlord refuses to let you see it or demands a deposit first, that’s a red flag. Verify the apartment’s ownership by looking up city records or speaking with a building manager. Or simply call us.
3. Never deal in cash
Cash-only operations are untraceable and, thus, very easy for a scammer to leave with your money. A lot of scam artists insist on dealing in cash only or using wire-transfers. Be especially cautious if the person asks for a security deposit upfront before signing a lease agreement.
4. Protect yourself by signing a written lease
Verbal agreements are unreliable and can cause trouble later down the line. A written contract has all the variables of a lease laid out in case something goes wrong. Report any suspected rental fraud to your local law enforcement or the Federal Trade Commission.
5. Rent from a reputable management company
Take the worry out of getting scammed by renting through a credible source, like American Paradise Properties Inc. Our trusted property manager has experienced leasing agents that follow set procedures to help ease your concerns and make the process simpler.
Follow this advice, and it will help you find a new, secure place you’ll love without added, unnecessary stress. Educating yourself on the various types of rental scams is the first step to staying safe.