Looking for a rental property can be a tough situation for both property managers, renters and investment groups. Everyone wants a place that they can call home and rest at each night. Sadly, thanks to modern technology and the growing savvy of criminals, these hopes and dreams are being taken advantage of and leaving renters without any money or a place to call home.
Property owners in the Dallas area are also subject to rental scams and may walk up to their property only to find that a family has already made themselves at home, thinking that a false lease that they signed had gotten them a rental at an extremely fair price.
Rental scams are rampant these days; here are some of the top ways to prevent becoming a victim of crimes that are impacting renters and owners alike.
1) Always Ask to See the Landlord
One of the top scams in rentals is that a phony “landlord” will post an ad online to a home that is either bank-owned or vacant. When the time comes that a renter wants to view the house, the landlord is mysteriously detained or ill, and the code to the dropbox is given to the potential tenant.
Upon deciding to rent the home, the landlord sends over a false lease and requests a wire of first, last month’s rent, security deposits, and sometimes more. The family then moves in only to quickly realize that they are unwelcome tenants in a home that was never rightfully leased to them.
We recommend that you ALWAYS ask to meet the landlord. This will help you decide on the legitimacy of this deal. Yes, there are some landlords who do live away from their properties, but you can insist on meeting with a property manager, or work with a licensed real estate agent to help you avoid this popular scam.
2) Meet the Current Tenants
Often a property up for lease is currently occupied at the time that it is being shown around. Meeting the current tenants helps to drastically reduce the risk of fraudulent activity, and could also get you any misinformation that have been fed to you by a slippery landlord.
3) Withholding Your Deposit
In the big picture, this may not seem like a scam at first, however, many landlords that are not assisted by licensed property managers will pull this one off on leaving tenants. Yes, the time spent at the rental may seem normal as far as landlord interactions go. However, once you leave, they will try to find any means necessary to keep your security deposit.
We suggest taking pictures of the rental upon arrival and departure. This way you have some collateral in the case that the landlord decides to not pay back your deposit.
HuntAHome Offers Property Management that See Beyond the Scam
Rental scams are everywhere, and at HuntAHome, we are the top property management company who can help identify a scam and prevent anyone from becoming a victim. As licensed property managers, we believe that your new rental home should welcome you in without a hitch.
If you are looking for a rental home or are an owner trying to rent and avoid scams, call HuntAHome today and see how we can help you.