It may be a wonderful time when you find the perfect Douglaston rental home. However, as you’re looking into floorplans, neighborhood, and lease terms, don’t forget to check any rental listing for red flags indicating it’s a scam. Unfortunately, rental scams are all too widespread, perpetrated by dishonest landlords and fake rental listings keen to scam potential tenants out of their hard-earned money. Because of this, you must be vigilant and research any rental property carefully. By knowing the red flags to look for and what to do if you feel you’ve discovered a scam, you can avoid falling victim to a rental scam situation.
Common Rental Scams
While there are numerous different ways that scammers try to trick people into giving them money, there are several common rental scams you should be aware of. Maybe the rental scam people encounter most often is where a person claiming to be a landlord advertises a property they don’t own, or that doesn’t exist.
Another frequent tactic is to create distracting or downright fake advertising for a property that does exist but is not owned by the person listing the home for rent. These scammers may start to pressure you into sending them a deposit right away or try to rush you into signing lease documents without touring the rental property first. Sad to say, it’s estimated that as large as 5.2 million renters have been scammed out of money by fraudulent listings.
Watch for Warning Signs
To prevent getting scammed, look for warning signs that something isn’t right. If you recognize what these signs are, you can spot a rental scam before you get taken in.
First and foremost, you must do your research. Carefully study the ad for spelling errors, vague information, or a deal that sounds too good to be true. Chances are if it seems like an incredible bargain, it’s probably a scam. You must talk to the professional Douglaston property manager on the phone and arrange to view the property in person. If they demand a deposit first or claim to be out of the country, both of those are big red flags.
A similar thing is correct if the landlord insists on dealing only in cash or asks for a wire transfer. In the first case, cash-only rentals are unethical and possibly illegal; that’s why they should be avoided. Requesting a wire transfer is a tactic commonly used by scammers because, like cash, wire transfers are unrecoverable once sent. Irrespective of what they say the money is for, never give a landlord a deposit without signing a lease first.
Best Practices for Safe Renting
Perhaps the best way to prevent being scammed when looking for a rental home is to go through a reputable management company. While local property management operations may give a few listings, there is still no guarantee that they are dedicated to fair, ethical rental practices. The safest course of action is to choose a company with national credibility and a reputation for high-quality customer service. Also, choosing the right property management company to rent from can expedite the process of finding and renting your new home, limiting your options to only those that fit your budget and lifestyle. This is the smarter and more efficient way to find your new rental home.
If you are looking for a new rental home but want to steer clear of any scams or misleading ads, your best option is to contact Real Property Management Innovation. We are a top-ranking national company with local offices, the best of both worlds: you’ll get local rental market expertise from a respected organization you know you can depend on. Contact us today or check out our rental listings online.
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