Beware of Rental Home Scams

01 Jun Beware of Rental Home Scams

Renter's InsuranceIt seems like there are new ways to deceive the unsuspecting consumer at every turn. Rental home scams have become a prevalent issue on many internet sites and it’s important to know what you’re getting into before you hand over cash.

One of the latest to hit our world is bogus rental scams where someone offers a property they do not own or control for rent. The properties targeted are those that are delinquent and in the process of being foreclosed on. The previous owner has also abandoned the property, making it easier  for a criminal to set the trap and start advertising it for rent. Once the rent and deposit are paid to these scammers, they disappear and their prey are left holding the bag- often before taking possession. There is no recourse for these innocent victims. How not to become a victim yourself?

  • Check to see if the property you are considering is being foreclosed. A good source to start is the Freddy Mac (quasi-government agency that backs up the mortgage market) at Zillow recently announced, to some controversy, that they will be adding foreclosure homes to their public lists.
  • Check if there is a for sale sign at the property. While this is not proof of something suspicious, it needs to be disclosed and explained to the inquiring prospective tenant.
  • Check the local MLS to see if the property is listed for lease or for sale.
  • Check the local MLS to verify that the person, or entity, offering property for lease is licensed and in good standing with the governing board.
  • Work only with reputable agents whose name you an rely on.

If you have questions, or need guidance on how to address a potential rental home scam, please be in touch with our office and we’re happy to offer help finding an appropriate rental home that meets your criteria.