When you track down that perfect Fresno rental home, it can be an exciting time. But as you’re examining the floorplan, neighborhood, and lease terms, don’t forget to check any rental listing for warnings that it’s a scam. Sadly, rental scams are quite common, perpetrated by dishonest landlords and fake rental listings eager to scam potential tenants out of their hard-earned money. This is the reason it is so critical to stay watchful and research any rental property carefully. By knowing the red flags to look for and what to do if you think you’ve exposed a scam, you can avoid falling victim to a rental scam situation.
Common Rental Scams
While there are multiple methodologies that scammers try to trick individuals into giving them money, there are a couple of common rental scams you should be aware of. Possibly 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 usual tactic is to create misleading or downright counterfeit 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 attempt to rush you into signing lease documents without touring the rental property first. Sad to say, it’s estimated that as numerous as 5.2 million renters have been scammed out of money by fraudulent listings.
Watch for Warning Signs
To avoid getting scammed, there are usually some warning signs that things are quite wrong. If you recognize what these signs are, you can spot a rental scam before you get tricked.
In the beginning, you need to do your research. Check the ad thoroughly for spelling errors, vague information, or a deal that sounds too good to be true. Chances are if it seems like an amazing bargain, it’s may be a scam. Remember to talk to the professional Fresno 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.
The same principle applies 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 probably illegal, so it is ideal for keeping away from them. Requesting a wire transfer is a tactic commonly used by scammers because, like cash, wire transfers are unrecoverable once sent. Setting aside what they claim the money is for, never give a landlord a deposit without signing a lease first.
Best Practices for Safe Renting
Probably the ideal way to avoid being scammed as you look for a rental home is to go through a reputable management company. While local property management operations may offer a few listings, there is still no guarantee that they are devoted 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. In addition, choosing the right property management company to rent from can make finding and renting your new home faster, restricting your options to only those that fit your budget and lifestyle. This is the smarter and more efficient way to locate your ideal rental home.
If you are hunting 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 Platinum. 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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