Once potential tenants are interested, the scammers will request a security deposit or down payment for the house or apartment. Once the payment is made, the potential tenants, thinking they will receive the keys to the house or apartment, will never hear from the scammers posing as landlords.
The victims will then find out it is a scam, but by then, it would be too late because the scammers have already taken off with their deposits or down payments.
Below are some tips that will help people looking to rent avoid being a victim of rental scams.
How to Prevent Home and Apartment Rental Scams
- only rent from a property management company or real estate agent
- never make a deposit or payment until you have seen the house
- only deal with local landlords
- never rush into a deal that seems too good to be true
- never rent any property without meeting the actual property owner
- always check out ownership of the property when renting an apartment or home and ask to see the landlord’s identification before signing a lease or leaving a deposit; then take the ID to local law enforcement authorities to verify it is legitimate
- do a Google search on the landlord’s name and property address to find out if the house or apartment has been used in previous scams
- never put up cash deposits and always make checks payable to the property owner
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