We have all heard the horror stories from both landlords and tenants about the trials and tribulations that can occur in the rental market. One of the huge issues is scams that can occur when attempting to rent a place. This is one of the many reasons that using a professional manager is a good idea for owners as when the ads are posted it is very easy to verify if the ad is legitimate. This helps give a possible tenant a little more piece of mind that they are not going to fall for a scam (and they are getting more elaborate!)
For all the tenants that are reading this here are 5 ways to help protect yourself from possible scammers and things that might be a flag:
1. Google the address - A lot of these scams rip off photos from listed places on the MLS for pictures and then repost them as a rental. The photos raise the legitimacy of the ad. (Do note that it isn't always as some owners try to rent their place and if it doesn't list it, whichever happens first the cancel the other rent vs. sell). It is something to investigate more and these scams usually don't want to show you before deposits....
2. See the place in person if possible or send someone to look at it - This confirms that the person you are speaking to, does in fact have access and also will rattle a possible scammer as they will no longer be fully anonymous.
3. Trust your gut. If the landlord seems skittish at all, in a rush (eg. not interested in your background at all), the price is too good to be true - These are all possible indicators that more research should be done.
4. Don't do any cash transactions - This is a nuisance to scammer as well as causes a paper trail, which they want to avoid.
5. Google the landlord, whoever you are speaking with and their phone number - If they are a licensed professional they will come up early in the list and on the flipside if they are a scammer someone else might have mentioned them somewhere. You want to make sure you know who you are speaking with!
Hopefully this will help those looking for a space; as it would be a nightmare to show up on moving day with you truck full of your items, after paying a deposit and the first month of rent, only to find that the ad was false. Not only the person disappeared with the cash, but also rendered the tenant homeless!
If you are considering renting out your investment home or selling it and need some more information about property management or sales and the various services we provide feel free to direct message me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call/text to 604-522-4777 or stop by our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/HazeRealty