When you acquire that ideal Van Nuys rental home, it can be a thrilling experience. But as you’re studying the floorplan, neighborhood, and lease terms, don’t forget to check any rental listing for clues that it’s a scam. Regrettably, rental scams are all too common, perpetrated by dishonest landlords and fake rental listings determined to scam potential tenants out of their hard-earned money. For that reason, you need to be watchful and research any rental property carefully. By knowing the red flags to look for and what to do if you think you’ve unearthed a scam, you can avoid falling victim to a rental scam situation.
Common Rental Scams
While there are a variety of methods that scammers try to deceive individuals into giving them money, there are a few common rental scams you should be aware of. Most likely, the rental scam people encounter most often is where a person claiming to be a landlord advertises a property they don’t own, or that doesn’t exist.
Another popular tactic is to create confusing or downright inaccurate advertising for a property that does exist but is not owned by the person listing the home for rent. These scammers may seek to pressure you into sending them a deposit right away or try to rush you into signing lease documents without touring the rental property first. Unfortunately, it’s estimated that as many as 5.2 million renters have been scammed out of money by fraudulent listings.
Watch for Warning Signs
To prevent being scammed, there are typically some warning signs that things aren’t quite appropriate. If you identify what these signs are, you can spot a rental scam before you get taken in.
To start with, you must do your research. Analyze the ad carefully for spelling errors, vague information, or a deal that sounds too good to be true. Chances are if it seems like an incredible bargain, it’s most likely a scam. Make sure to talk to the professional Van Nuys property manager on the phone and arrange to view the property in person. If they demand a deposit first or claim to be out of the country, both of those are big red flags.
The same thing is true if the landlord insists on dealing only in cash or asks for a wire transfer. In the first case, cash-only rentals are unethical and probably illegal, so it’s best to keep away from them. Requesting a wire transfer is a tactic commonly used by scammers because, like cash, wire transfers are unrecoverable once sent. Regardless of what they claim the money is for, never give a landlord a deposit without signing a lease first.
Best Practices for Safe Renting
An effective approach to prevent getting scammed while searching for a rental home is to go through a reputable management company. While local property management operations may suggest a few listings, there is still no guarantee that they are devoted to fair, ethical rental practices. The safest course of action is to choose a company with national credibility and a reputation for high-quality customer service. Besides, choosing the right property management company to rent from can make finding and renting your new home easy, focusing your options on only those that fit your budget and lifestyle. This is the smarter and more efficient way to obtain your prospective rental home.
If you are searching for a new rental home but want to steer clear of any scams or misleading ads, your best option is to contact Real Property Management West San Fernando Valley. We are a top-ranking national company with local offices, the best of both worlds: you’ll get local rental market expertise from a respected organization you know you can rely on. Contact us today or check out our rental listings online.
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