Renting a Home? Watch For These 4 Home Rental Scams
Many people like renting homes instead of buying because it provides a happy medium between owning a home and living in an apartment. Like there are red flags for buying a home, there is also an assortment of red flags renters need to know when looking into a home. Renters need to know how to identify a scam so they don’t accidentally fall for one. Here are some common home rental scam red flags all renters should be on the lookout for when looking for their next home.
The Owner Won’t Appear In Person
The best landlords will always be able to meet with their clients, especially potential clients who they want to impress. Being able to speak face-to-face is a better way to make a good first impression than speaking over the phone or via e-mail. However, scammers will often refuse to meet with renters interested in their property. They do this to distance themselves from the scam and help preserve their identity. Common excuses scammers will give for why they can’t meet with a renter include being out of the country, on vacation, in the military, or even being ill.
The Price is Too Good to Be True
Just like any sort of big purchase, renters need to beware of unusually good deals on rental properties. A low price may seem like a great deal, but it can be a bad idea. Scammers use low prices to draw renters in, then once they have the renter’s deposit or first month’s rent, they stop all communications with the renter and don’t let them into the property—if a property even existed in the first place. While a low-priced home may seem like a good way to save money, it can potentially be a scam.
The Owner Won’t Let the Renter See the Home
With any sort of property, the renter needs to be able to see what they’re going to be renting. In any normal case, the property owner will take them to tour the property. If the owner refuses to let the renter onto the property before they sign a lease, this is a huge red flag. If the renter can’t physically see the property and go in it, that property may not even exist. It could just be a series of stolen listing photos re-posted by a scammer pretending it’s their home.
The Homeowner Has No Screening Process
When someone wants to rent any sort of property, no matter what it is, a responsible landlord will always have some sort of screening process. This screening process looks into the background of the applicant, their employment status, how much money they earn, and so on. The homeowner is allowed to use this information to decide if an applicant will be a good match for their property. If a landlord accepts an applicant without ever looking into this sort of information, it’s another big red flag. This means they’re just looking for that initial deposit payment and have no intention of actually working with the renter.
While no one ever wants to encounter an Edina home rental scam, renters need to be ready if they do come across one. Scams are meant to seem as appealing as possible to draw people in, and it’s easy to fall for one if unaware of the different scams out there. Knowing these scams beforehand is a good way to help prevent falling for one, so all renters need to be familiar with them.