Avoiding Rental Scams
In the age of technology, it’s not just renters who are getting scammed with rental properties. Now there is such a thing as tenant fraud and it can be the cause of a serious headache. Here are a few ways to help avoid all of that and to keep yourself from being a possible victim.
Search through online listings
Do a search of listings in your area and even a little outside of your property locations. There has been an uprising of imposter landlords who illegally went out your properties at a lower rate. Be sure to constantly check up on the listings and that your correct contact information is with your listing.
International Renters, be careful
Some international renters may not be able to be physically present and could offer to wire funds to you. Be very wary of this situation. Individuals who live outside of the US do not have a Social Security Number and therefore are very hard to have background and credit reports done on. If this situation does arise, be sure to ask for co-signer and employment information to attempt to verify who they are.
Deny cashier’s checks or money orders
These are a popular payment form with scammers because they are hard to trace. Be sure to deny anything other than cash or a personal check to avoid losing money.
Always meet the renter face to face
The majority of scams occur via the internet or over the telephone. Always be sure to meet your potential renters face to face to avoid being the victim of a scam. Real renters will be more than happy to meet in person to discuss the rental process or to go over the lease agreement. Anyone who refuses to meet in person is usually a scam.
Always be sure to conduct background and credit checks on possible tenants. Not only does this help weed out bad tenants, it can also be a way to prove this person is real and not just another scam.