March 11, 2019

Avoid Online Scams When Renting by Following These Tips

When you’re looking to find a place to rent, the internet has got your back. You can find people renting out a room, or a house set up for a group of people that will keep rent low. There’re also many people trying to scam inexperienced renters, so we’ve provided tips to keep you safe from scammers trying to take your security deposit and run.

Scam Alert written on the road

1. Compare Prices

Scammers will have incredibly low prices to attract people to their listing. If they’re offering a three bedroom, fully furnished house for $400 per month, it’s probably too good to be true. You should look at what other properties are renting for in the area and see if they’re similar. If they’re not, it’s safer to find another rental.

2. Avoid Landlords You Can’t Meet

One of the common tricks scammers use is saying they’re located out of state or out of the country. You’ll hear that they’re temporarily transferred far away and want someone to rent their house to look after it while they’re gone. If you can’t meet them in person, they’re probably hiding something. Best to avoid these properties and find something else.

Human hands holding model of dream house

3. Don’t Wire Money

If you’re told that you need to use Western Union or another similar service to pay the deposit, you should be wary. These services are hard to track where your money has gone, so avoid doing this if you don’t trust the landlord. Without visiting the property or talking to the landlord in person, you’ll most likely never see your money or a lease agreement.

4. Research the Landlord

You can research the landlord before you sign any paperwork or pay any money. If you’re dealing with a landlord that doesn’t work for a property management service, you should still be able to find information about them or their business. Previous tenants can leave reviews online, and you can see if the property is listed under a different company. You should also go to the location and see if it’s actually for rent. If you’re able to talk to a current tenant, you can ask about the landlord.

If you’re still not sure if the property is a scam or the real deal, consider looking for properties managed by a trusted Detroit Metro property management company. Some properties have included amenities or utilities included in your rent that private landlords can’t offer. It’s a good idea to do your research when renting a property.

Topics: tenant tips