Renting an apartment is an excellent choice for people who don’t want to commit to any significant financial responsibility, such as a mortgage. You can get the space you want without paying a tremendous amount on mortgage bills every month. However, renting is not always a safe choice.
The truth is that there are several fraudulent listings online that are targeting renters for their money. These fraudsters have already scammed more than 5 million renters across the country. So, to help you make the right choice, here are a couple of the worst apartment scams and how you can protect yourself from falling on the wrong end:
Many experts believe that fake listings are becoming quite common on online sites. You can even see them posted frequently on Craigslist, as well as other traditional rental sites. Scammers advertise fraudulent listings on a few websites. Once someone reaches out to them, they’ll instruct them to wire the money so that they can take it off the market.
So, it’s best to check the property for yourself instead of putting all your trust in the images that you see online. Meanwhile, if you’re planning to rent it remotely, then insist on a tour of the property via video chat.
Bait and Switch
Bait-and-switch modus usually happens when a fraudster is offering one property but is selling another. This type of scam commonly occurs in the short-term space, but renters can see this type of scenario, too.
When they’re about to see the listing, the broker will say that it’s no longer available. And then he’ll show other apartments as an alternative that doesn’t have all the criteria that the renter is looking for. So, if you notice that the landlord is doing this trick, it’s best that you look for somebody else. You wouldn’t want to have a landlord who scams people to get their money.
To avoid being a victim, you need to deal only with trustworthy landlords or property managers who offer good apartments in Athens, Ohio.
Questionable Lease Contract
You should always check the contract before you sign for the keys. There are fraudsters who aren’t legally authorized to rent an apartment. Working with them would only cost your money’s worth of rent and run with it. What makes it even worse is that there are scam artists who will hand you keys that aren’t also working.
These people often have a key that they use to open the apartment and another set of keys that they give you. Once you discover that the keys you have aren’t working, you no longer have the chance to reach to them anymore. That’s why it’s crucial to get the keys on-site, so you can test them out immediately.
These are a few of the things that you should know when looking for a place to rent. Remember that not every landlord or broker is out to get your money. But being wary of all these scams can help you make smart choices in the future. You can always check the Internet to know the other scams done by these fraud artists so that you’ll be aware of it as well.