The internet has made communication easier than ever and has become a useful tool for people hunting for the right rental home. Unfortunately, it has also made it easier than ever for scammers to take advantage of people. There are more rental scams every day, leaving innocent people without a home or the money they put down.
If you are in the market to rent an apartment or house, it is important to recognize the warning signs that someone is trying to steal from you. At Anderson Communities, we have seen how devastating it can be when someone falls prey to a rental scam. Don’t let that be you–watch for these clues that the rental of your dreams may actually be a mirage.
They are Reluctant to Meet You For a Walk-Through
The first red flag is any hesitation to meet with you and show you the rental home. No matter what their excuse is, you shouldn’t agree to rent a property based on pictures alone. While it can be very helpful to check out a rental online, there is no substitute for looking at it in person.
The Move-In Timeline is Rushed
Someone running a scam doesn’t want you to take your time to think about it. If you can consider the details carefully, you are more likely to recognize the holes in their story. They will pressure you to commit to the property right away, saying that many other people are interested in it and that such an excellent home won’t be available for long.
The Landlord is Absent
If the landlord is never available and you have to deal with their manager all the time, you may be being scammed. People will steal the information online for an actual rental and claim to represent the landlord. To ensure you are dealing with someone with the legal right to act on behalf of the property owner, ask to see documents giving them that right.
If you are renting from an individual, not an established business, don’t move ahead with the agreement if the landlord is always missing or the manager can’t prove that they have the legal right to do business on their behalf.
Withheld Security Deposits
One of the ways scammers steal money is by taking your security deposit, then insisting that you never paid it. They may then say they’ve rented the property to someone else and refuse to return your deposit.
Sometimes, the fraudulent behavior doesn’t show up until the end of your lease. If the landlord doesn’t return your security deposit, even though you left the home in good condition, they are illegally keeping your money.
Incomplete Lease Documents
Leases are legal documents, so their details should be tediously precise. A fake lease document is often vague and incomplete, leaving out important identifying details. They should clarify the property’s address, the owner, your information, rent costs, and how long the lease is valid. It is a good idea to double-check that the information on the lease matches any other information about the property you can find.
No Tenant Screening Process
If you are nervous about the screening process that most landlords require, finding someone who doesn’t require it may feel like a jackpot. Unfortunately, this is usually a sign that they don’t care if you are likely to pay your rent on time because they won’t be around to collect it. The plan may be to take your deposit and first month’s rent and disappear, leaving you with nothing.
Find Your Next Home with Trusted Anderson Communities
If you’re looking for a rental, it’s vital that you protect yourself from scammers online. One way to ensure you are safe is to work with a trustworthy company like Anderson Communities. We have a track record of serving renters in Kentucky, and you can rely on us to keep our promises to you.
Many believe they can get a better deal by renting through unvetted online resources such as Craigslist. But at Anderson Communities, we offer the best value for your rental dollars. We will never add unexpected or extra fees to your rent, and we provide amenities such as internet and in-home washers and dryers at no extra charge. If you are interested in seeing the properties we have available, take a look at our website. If you decide to move forward with an application, we will do everything to show you that you’re dealing with someone you can trust.