Moving is stressful and the real estate market for the last year has prompted a huge increase in rental rates and scams. This increase prompted the Better Business Bureau (BBB) to announce a scam alert related to Rental Scams.
Because of the quickly moving market, home buyers are choosing to skip inspections to secure a home and renters are choosing to sign twelve (12) month contracts on the spot. These customs have become standard when looking for a home to buy or an apartment to rent. When looking for rentals specifically, most renters will turn to places like zillow, realtor.com, and even facebook.
Because of the urgency in securing a place to call home, facebook posts will often target people asking for money to “process” your application along with your personal information. This is often before the prospective tenants have even had a chance to see the home or set up an appointment. The BBB has created a list of tips and tricks to avoid these scams and we have added some tips of our own.
- Watch out for deals that are too good. If the deal seems too good to be true, it likely is.
- Search online for similar property in a similar area. Zillow is a great tool to search in a specific area.
- Check your local auditor’s department to verify the information they are giving you. Verify the information by looking up the address, owner’s information, or permanent parcel number.
- Check out the property in person. Nothing, even a virtual tour, compares to seeing the property in person.
- Read the lease. Don’t pay a huge security deposit, especially before you see the apartment.
- Don’t pay a holding fee. If a landlord requires a holding fee, take it as a sign that you should move on from the property.
Finally, a quickly moving real estate market can be a good thing. Often there are more rental/homes on the market, but remember that following these simple rules can help you avoid future problems down the road. Link to article: https://www.bbb.org/article/scams/16908-scam-alert-rental-cons-cash-in-on-stressed-out-movers