Content of the material
- What are some current rental scams?
- 8. Check the woodwork around door frames
- 4. Request to see the gas certificate
- Is It Listed For Sale?
- The first UK landlord checking service
- Is this Property Managment Legit?
- 13. Talk to the Current or Previous Tenants
- Identity Theft and Online Security
- Make Sure the Home Is Not In Foreclosure
- Google the Landlord or Manager
- How to avoid rental scams
- Search the company online
- Verify the address listed on rental sites
- Be sure the listing is complete
- Is the price reasonable?
- Tour the property
- Meet the landlord
- Don’t feel pressured
- Take a thorough look at the lease
- Never pay cash
- Jobs and Making Money
- Ask Neighbors in Nearby Buildings
- What is Rentberry?
- Rental Service
- Price Negotiation Platform
- Time-Saving Tools
What are some current rental scams?
The most common rental scam we have witnessed over the past year is people with no legal right to lease a property “leasing” it to a potential tenant (or many potential tenants) and making off with the security deposit, first months rent, and sometimes even prepaid rent as well.
Another variant on this scheme is charging many potential tenants fees for background checks and making off with that money. A typical fee for a background check is about $50, charge that to tens or hundreds of potential renters and the thief can make out with a lot of money.
8. Check the woodwork around door frames
The woodwork that goes around a door frame is called ‘architrave’. We’re not sure where or when we learnt that, it’s just another useless gem of information. But for the purposes of figuring out if a rental property is legit have a look at the woodwork around the door, specifically around the door latch, the door lock and the door hinges. If there’s recent damage to the woodwork around the lock or hinges, this could indicate the door has been opened using anything apart from a key. Are the door hinges screwed securely into the woodwork around the door frame? This might not be as important for internal doors, but you want your front or back door to be secure, right?
4. Request to see the gas certificate
There are several documents and certificates your landlord legally has to provide you with before you rent a place. You should check to see if your landlord already has a gas certificate, even before you start renting. Have a look at what else a legit landlord should give you as you move in here: Why is the Ministry of Housing's 'How To Rent' guidebook so useful?
Is It Listed For Sale?
Empty homes are an easy target for scammers. They figure out how to gain entry and then “rent” out the unit always at an unbelievable rate. Once they get your deposit and first month’s rent you never see them again but the police show up and accuse you of squatting.
The first UK landlord checking service
RentProfile is a new free service tenants can use to check their landlord on the go, using their mobile phone or the property address. The website just got launched but already has 1000+ landlords on record, growing every day.
If you go ahead and search your landlord, it’s likely that it wont turn up a result, but in the near future, this may become the to go resource for checking your landlord. Alternatively, the company provides a thorough background check on any landlord, regardless if they are included in the directory or not, for just £9. This is typically the same price your landlord will pay to get you credit checked. (or make you pay)
If you’re pleased with your landlord, you can suggest them to sign up right now. As a landlord, everybody should aim to be cleared on as many services as they can possibly find. RentProfile is free and aims to become a major tenant resource in the near future, so really, why not ?
Is this Property Managment Legit?
Being a landlord is a lot of work so many homeowners choose to have a great property management company near them to represent the home. Many rental sites will verify if the company is real or not but if you don’t see that, look for the company’s website, Google reviews, or if they’re involved with the Better Business Bureau.
13. Talk to the Current or Previous Tenants
One of the best ways to check whether the landlord is a reliable person is by contacting current tenants or the ones who rented his property recently.
Some landlords will be happy to provide you with good references, and sometimes you’ll have to do a small research of your own to find this information out. In any case, talking to previous tenants can show not only how trustworthy your future property manager is. You can also learn how easy they are to contact, how responsive they are to any requests or property-related issues, and what kind of person they are in general.
Identity Theft and Online Security
How to protect your personal information and privacy, stay safe online, and help your kids do the same.
Make Sure the Home Is Not In Foreclosure
Ask the landlord if the property is in foreclosure or going into foreclosure. Some states, including California, require landlords to inform renters when this happens. If you think the landlord might be hiding something, you can check the current status of the property in the clerk’s office at the county courthouse. If the property is in foreclosure, you will find documents showing that a foreclosure suit has been filed. A “notice of default” notation indicates that the landlord has not been making payments and the property is close to foreclosure.
Google the Landlord or Manager
It may seem obvious, but it’s a good idea to Google the owner and/or property manager, and even the address. If the property has been in the news lately, you’ll read all about it, and chances are, the story won’t always be positive. Likewise with the owner or manager— you don’t want to rent a place whose management has been the subject of a feature article on the woes of renting.
How to avoid rental scams
Avoiding rental scams will save you time, energy and money. Here are a few tips for how to avoid these deceptive listings.
Search the company online
Rental properties can be owned by companies or individuals. When you find a listing, research the owner to see what the online reviews say. If there aren’t any or if they have a bad reputation, you’ll want to steer clear.
Verify the address listed on rental sites
All listings should have an address associated with them. Copy and paste this address into your preferred search engine to see what the street view of the home looks like. If there isn’t one or it looks different than the photos listed, the posting is probably fraudulent.
In addition, it’s not a good sign if the landlord is withholding the address. Don’t give away any personal information in exchange for a property address.
Be sure the listing is complete
Rental scams often have missing information. This may include typos throughout the post, a lack of property photos or no address. If the listing looks incomplete and sketchy, it probably is.
Is the price reasonable?
While we all like to find a deal, rentals don’t come half off. The property is likely to be a rental scam if the rent is well below the average in the area. Be sure to do research on what rentals in the area are going for so you can have that in mind when looking at properties.
Tour the property
Many scammers will refuse to show you the property until you pay a deposit. This is because they don’t have a legitimate property to show you in the first place.
Some excuses for why they can’t show you the property include being out of town or dealing with a family emergency. Regardless of what their scenario is, you should never put down a deposit without first having a real or virtual tour of the property.
Meet the landlord
If the landlord isn’t the one showing the property, inquire about who they are and how they can be contacted. If the person doesn’t have these details, it’s likely they are involved in a renting-for-the-owner scam.
Don’t feel pressured
A scammer may try to put you in a time crunch. They will tell you the property has had a lot of interest and that you need to put down a deposit immediately to claim the property. While properties do move fast, don’t let this pressure keep you from making rational decisions.
Take a thorough look at the lease
Once you’ve viewed the property and your application is accepted, you’ll be asked to sign a lease. It’s important to look over all the components of the lease to ensure it includes everything that you’ve agreed on. If you have any concerns, be sure to bring these to the attention of your landlord before signing.
Never pay cash
Whether you are paying for an application fee, deposit or rent, be sure you don’t pay in cash. There needs to be a way to track the money you’ve sent and get it back if needed. Also, if you are wiring money or disclosing bank information, be sure that you’ve verified it as a legitimate company.
Jobs and Making Money
What to know when you’re looking for a job or more education, or considering a money-making opportunity or investment.
Ask Neighbors in Nearby Buildings
Other people and businesses in the neighborhood may know something about the reputation of the building and its tenants, landlord, or manager. Be sure to ask about crime in the neighborhood—both on the street and apartment break-ins, as well as other incidents requiring a police response. Ask if tenants seem to stay more than a year—if so, that’s the mark of a well-run building.
What is Rentberry?
Rentberry unites landlords and tenants to make their rental experience fair, secure and transparent.
Price Negotiation Platform
Affordable rent is not a myth. Negotiate the final price with your potential landlord and find a common ground together.
Time-Saving Tools Having your whole rental experience in one place is real. Sign electronic agreements and rent a perfect place in a few clicks.