Beware of Apartment Scammers
Apartment scammers aim to steal money from interested renters. There are many ways you can find yourself in a rental scam, but Apartment Locating Specialists is here to guide you through how to recognize an apartment scammer and how to check if a rental property is legit.
What Is a Rental Scam?
Rental fraud can happen in a variety of ways. Typically, someone will pretend to be the landlord or property manager of a property that either doesn’t exist or does not belong to them. They will find clever ways to trick you out of money and leave you without a new apartment, or they will convince you an apartment is something it is not.
Don’t Deal in Cash
Dealing in cash ensures money cannot be tracked. If a landlord insists you pay them in cash, it is probably a scam. Security deposits and paying the last month upfront should never be handled in cash and should never be paid until you’ve seen the property and the lease is signed.
If They Don’t Want to Meet in Person… Next!
If they do not want to meet you in person and are denying meeting over video chat, there is a good chance this person is a scammer. They don’t want to reveal their identity and they probably don’t own or have access to the property. A good landlord will allow you to see them and the property before signing a lease.
Make Sure You’ve Seen the Property in Person
It is crucial to check out the place before locking yourself into a lease. Apartment scammers will list the property as highly desirable or conveniently located, when that is far from the truth. If the landlord finds excuses as to why you cannot see the property, it is a good idea to ditch the apartment and find another!
Be Mindful of the Listing
If the price is too good to be true… it’s probably a scam. If the listing has typos, poor spelling and grammar or excessive punctuation, these are all red flags. Trustworthy landlords or property managers will take the time to create professional listings.
Ways to Avoid a Rental Scam
Thoroughly vet your listing using these tips from Apartment Locating Specialists. If there are any red flags, go with your gut and avoid it at all costs. Ensure you meet the landlord and visit the property before signing any agreements or paying any fees. Stay safe out there!