When you discover the right Catonsville rental home, it can be a joyful moment. Yet, as you’re investigating the floorplan, neighborhood, and lease terms, don’t forget to check any rental listing for indications that it’s a scam. Sadly, rental scams are all too common, perpetrated by dishonest landlords and fake rental listings eager to scam potential tenants out of their hard-earned money. For this reason, you need to stay alert and research any rental property carefully. By knowing the red flags to look for and what to do if you think you’ve found a scam, you can avoid falling victim to a rental scam situation.
Common Rental Scams
While there are numerous different options that scammers try to deceive people into giving them money, there are a handful of 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 typical tactic is to create deceptive or downright untrue advertising for a property that does exist but is not owned by the person listing the home for rent. These scammers may try 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. Sadly, 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 avoid being scammed, there are many warning signs that things aren’t okay. If you understand what these signs are, you can spot a rental scam before you get fooled.
Primarily, it is necessary to do your research. Analyze the ad closely for spelling errors, vague information, or a deal that sounds too good to be true. Chances are if it seems like an exceptional bargain, it’s probably a scam. You need to talk to the professional Catonsville 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.
This is especially true 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 potentially illegal, so it’s advisable to avoid them. Requesting a wire transfer is a tactic commonly used by scammers because, like cash, wire transfers are unrecoverable once sent. Irrespective of what they claim the money is for, never give a landlord a deposit without signing a lease first.
Best Practices for Safe Renting
One of the ideal methods to avoid getting scammed when you hunt 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. Moreover, choosing the right property management company to rent from can make finding and renting your new home quicker, reducing your options to only those that fit your budget and lifestyle. This is the smarter and more efficient way to discover your upcoming 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 Metro. 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 trust. Contact us today or check out our rental listings online.
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