West Chester realtor Gregg Sutter

4 Tips To Avoid Rental Scams 

Do you want to rent a house or an apartment? Are you ready to skid past the scammers who will be after your hard-earned money? If not, we have got some tips to help you achieve a seamless rental experience.  

How to avoid rental scams may seem daunting, but we are here to help you out. Do not fall into the traps of these vicious scammers and shady schemes by learning these basic tips.  

1. Too Good to Be True? It might be.

A lot of times we see listings in places like Craigslist or social media. Always be weary of these listings, as those outlets are the only places scammers can really advertise their “properties for rent” on. Does the listing look “too good to be true”? There’s a good chance it is. Before you get your hopes up, do some research on the property. Google it and see what Zillow and other sites are saying about it. Take a drive there and see if the property actually has a sign up. It will save you a whole lot of back and forth over email that might be in vain.

2. Be Vigilant With Your Cash 

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The best way to avoid rental scams is to refrain from dealing in cash. If you are making the payment in the form of cash, you have a high chance of being scammed by the crooks. This is because cash cannot be traced and can be easy to get away with. If you are in contact with a landlord who is adamant that you pay by cash, it is likely that the person is trying to scam you.  

While there may be exceptions to this, try to keep yourself safe by refusing to pay in cash or wire transfers when it comes to home deposits. It has repeatedly been seen as the reason for scamming innocent people of their money.  

3. The Absence of a Lease 

If you are about to rent an apartment and you have not been provided any document to sign, it is a point to ponder over. You need to request a lease when you are renting an apartment. You should be careful not to fall prey to verbal agreements as they are often seen as a source of fraud.   

You may notice that the landlord is making some excuses when it comes to the lease; this is a red flag. Make sure that you ask for a lease beforehand and get these problems sorted out. The lease should be signed by both two parties – the landlord and the tenant.  

4. A Physical Inspection Of The Place Is A Must 

If you are planning to rent a place, do not rely on pictures, videos, or even video calls to make the final decision. No matter how far you live or how many excuses the landlord gives, do go and check out the place yourself. While the pictures of the house may look aesthetically pleasing, it can be a total disaster when you actually reach the place. Hence, you should visit the place and properly scrutinize it before making your final decision. 

If you live in another other city and are opting for relocation, you can always request your friend, family, or acquaintances to pay a visit to the house and let you know about the condition of it. This would help you in staying safe from being scammed.  

Bottom Line on How to Avoid Rental Scams  

Renting can be a fulfilling method of living for many people. Unfortunately, it can be an easy target for financial scamming. If the landlord owns only one property, they might be a bit casual in their approach, which might trip your skepticism alarm. Always be wary if something doesn’t feel quite right. Seek advice from those that have rented before for what’s to be expected. We hope these tips have helped you to avoid rental scams!   

Decided you are done with renting and want to own some property? With 45 years of experience, Greg Sutter can help you in finding the house of your dreams with ease. Contact Gregg Sutter – Keller Williams Advisors and experience an impeccable experience.