Rental Fraud – Avoid Falling Victim

Posted on: 17 December 2015

Looking for an apartment to rent and make your home can be exhausting. Finding the perfect location, the right price and all of the features that you want makes the search more than a little daunting. Unfortunately, these aren't the only things you should be concerned about during your search – you also have to worry about rental fraud.

Rental fraud happens every day. Renters give their hard-earned money to the person they think is the landlord or property manager only to learn when the time comes to move into the apartment that they had been scammed. The person paid had no ties to the apartment – the money is gone.

Here, you will learn a few things that you can do to ensure that you aren't getting scammed.

Face-To-Face Meeting

Apartment listings are generally found online or in the local classified ads. Don't rely solely on the information you find in those resources. Before you sign any lease and hand over any money for the apartment, set up a face-to-face meeting with the landlord.

The best way to set this meeting up is to request that the landlord be present when the apartment is shown. If the landlord seems to be avoiding a face-to-face meeting, chances are this is not a legitimate listing.

Take a Tour

The pictures you see of the apartment online aren't always true to the actual condition or appearance of the apartment. Software can be used to alter the images, pictures can be taken years before they are posted, or pictures of a different unit can be posted in place of the actual unit.

If you don't live within driving distance to the apartment that you are considering, you can hire an agent to take a look at the apartment for you. He or she will tour the property, talk with the landlord and take true pictures to send back to you.

Trust Your Instincts

If you have found an apartment that seems to be too good to be true, chances are, it is. If the rent is much lower than comparative apartments in the area, give pause to sending a check or signing a lease. There will be a reason that the rent is much less – could be a scam or it could be that the apartment isn't in a safe location or is in deplorable condition.

Even if you're looking for luxury apartments, talk with a rental agency for help finding an apartment without the risk of falling victim to rental fraud.