6 Ways to Avoid Rental Scams
Sadly, we live in a time where scams are common place in most industries, including renting. To be on the safe side, it’s always smart going with a reputable Realtor agency or someone who you know personally and have built up a good strong relationship with. If you’re going it alone in finding yourself a property, follow our 6 tips to avoid being out of pocket with no roof over your head.
1. The invisible landlord
This is a common scam used in the rental industry and involves someone listing a house or apartment on the market, while claiming they are ‘out of town’. They promise to send you the keys after you transfer them your first month’s deposit. Almost always this is a scam, and after you send the money you will never hear from them again.
Always meet your landlord face-to-face before handing over any money, or their property manager if they have one.
2. As the saying goes…
If it’s too good to be true, it probably is. Renters will come across this scam in online adverts usually. They will show you amazing rentals that are fully furnished in a great location with the best amenities, all for rock bottom prices. When a property does seems too good to be true, search for rentals in the same area that offer similar things and see if there’s a huge pricing disparity, if so, proceed with vigilance.
3. Duplicate adds
Some scammers are lazy and they simply copy and paste legitimate adverts and simply adjust the price. If you see two identical homes listed at different prices, call the more expensive listing and question them about the cheaper advert and if they indeed posted it.
4. Always visit an apartment before handing over cash
All legitimate landlords will allow you to view the property before you hand over any cash. If a landlord is pushing you to send over money, making up excuses to why you cannot view the property, or they are saying “there’s several people making offers and you need to act quickly before it goes”, walk away. Never part with your money before you actually see an apartment, nor should you fall for their tricks and intimidation tactics.
5. Read what you sign
Rental contracts are not always so easy to understand, read everything carefully and if you’re still confused, show your solicitor or an experienced professional in property management.
Online classified listing such as Gumtree should be approached with caution, the website for the most part is unregulated and anybody can upload pictures and list a property. Unlike Assent Agents, who have the biggest rental listing in Brisbane, Gold Coast and the Sunshine coast for Queensland, all our landlords are vetted and you will be in safe hands.
You’ll be surprised at how many people each year fall victim to these kind of scams, and by following our 6 simple tips mentioned in this article, we hope you will never become one of them. If you’re looking for a property to rent or are a landlord looking for an expert property manager, Assent Agents have extensive experience in both areas and are happy to assist you. We have been working in the local area for many years and there is nothing we cannot do for our clients.