Renting a home can be a great way for someone to get a better understanding of what it’s like to own a home before they purchase one. Because of this, renting homes has become popular, especially among the younger generations. However, renters still need to be aware of real estate scams, just like buyers. There are a lot of home rental scams out there that can cost renters a lot of time and money if they fall for one of them. Home renters need to be aware of the different scams and scam warning signs in order to protect themselves. Here are some common home rental scams and how to identify them.
The Price Is Too Good to Be True
Just like when purchasing a home, car, or anything else, home renters need to be wary of any price that seems unbelievably good. Scammers will often use a low price in order to draw in unsuspecting renters who are trying to save money. They will often take renters through the entire rental process and then ask for a deposit, as would be normal when entering a rental agreement. However, once the scammer gets the money, they’ll take it and run, leaving the renter without a place to live and without their deposit money. When looking for a property to rent, renters should always try to look for a property that is priced fairly: not too high, but not too low, either, to ensure renters have a better chance of avoiding scams and finding a property with a good value.
The Property Owner Doesn’t Have a Screening Process
When someone is letting a stranger live in their home, it’s important to have a screening process to ensure that the renter is trustworthy and responsible. Because of this, nearly all property owners will require renting applicants to submit to some sort of screening process, which will often involve a background check and a credit check. When a property owner doesn’t have any sort of screening process at all, it can be a big red flag. If a property owner isn’t concerned about who will be living in their home, it can be another sign that the owner is simply looking to steal the safety deposit and leave the renter helpless.
The Property Owner Won’t Let the Renter See the Property In Person
One of the biggest warning signs of a scam is if the property owner won’t let the renter visit the property before signing a lease and paying a deposit. Whether buying or renting, there isn’t a single excuse a property owner can make that can excuse them from showing a renter the home they want to live in. All renters should ask to see the property in person before agreeing to sign any documentation. If the property owner refuses or tries to give excuses why they can’t (for example, they’re out of town or the home is undergoing some renovations), do not agree to rent the home. When the renter isn’t allowed to see the home, it is often because the property owner doesn’t actually own the property, and they are using photos from the internet.
No one wants to fall for a scam, especially when it comes to renting a home. By familiarizing themselves with the red flags they may find, home renters can help themselves avoid getting taken advantage of by scammers.
The Ashton Real Estate Group of RE/MAX Advantage
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