August 20, 2014
Looking for a house or apartment to rent? Be aware. As Dale discussed in a recent radio show, rental scams are on the rise.
There are many stories out there. Renters move into an empty home, only to find out when a bank representative shows up that it’s actually a foreclosed home and they have to leave ASAP. Or potential renters are told they must make a deposit first before viewing the home.
Here are some tips from Dale and Ariane McClure, a realtor with Sotheby’s in Atlanta, to help you avoid a scam.
- If the ad, email, etc. contains misspellings or incorrect English, those are reliable red flags.
- If you are asked to wire a large amount of money, it’s probably a scam. If you don’t feel comfortable, tell the landlord you would like to deposit the money in a trust account. Many real estate companies and attorneys have accounts you can use.
- If you’re dealing with someone out of state, or especially out of the country, be on high alert. Chances are, again, it’s a scam.
- If the rent is low for the area, that’s another potential red flag.
- If they insist on a deposit before seeing the property, it’s a scam.
As McClure said, “When something seems too good to be true, you need to be on alert because it probably is too good to be true”. If you or someone you know is a victim of a rental scam, it needs to be reported to local law enforcement and to the Federal Trade Commission as well as the Web site where it was posted.
For more on rental scams, listen to the entire TrustDale radio episode at www.trustdale.com/radio/2014/05/28/14.