Sadly enough, people are scammed out of their money on a daily basis. At times, it might be a convincing call from someone claiming to be the IRS demanding money, but other times it comes in the form of a rental listing that isn’t real.
Rental scams happen across the country, leaving good people out of hundreds or even thousands of dollars and no actual home to show for it. Many rental searches begin online, making it significantly easier for people to fall victim to fraudulent listings. To prevent this from happening to you, take the time to educate yourself on major red flags for rental scams.
As a trusted local property management company Fort Collins, we work to help people find nice homes and one way we can do that is to help them spot the signs of a bad deal. Here are some possible indications a rental listing is a scam.
They Don’t Want to Meet You or Show You the Property
Any reputable landlord or property manager understands the importance and need for a property showing and will never avoid it. During a showing, a potential tenant can be sure that the home is a good fit for them, while property managers learn more about the background of the tenant. If you show interest in a home and you are not given the option to tour it in person, and they do not want to meet you, it is highly likely that this listing is part of a scam.
They Claim That They Are Out of Town
Scammers often use the excuse that they are out of town or in the military to avoid scheduling a showing. They might suggest that you walk around the outside of the property, or they may offer to have someone working for them contact you. If the person advertising the home offers you these seemingly realistic options, be insistent on scheduling an actual showing so that you can be sure that the home is actually available to rent.
They Want You to Wire Them Money
In a legitimate rental agreement, you will never be asked to mail or wire money upfront. While you will be required to pay a security deposit and the first month’s rent before you can move in, you will first see the property, submit an application, and sign the lease. Never mail or wire money to someone you’ve only communicated with online.
They Promise to Mail You the Keys
Scammers are quick and skilled at providing you with a story detailing why they are out of town or why they cannot meet you in person. They will then tell you to wire them money for the rent and promise to mail you the keys to the house. If someone offers you this option, immediately stop communicating with them and report the listing.
They Want You to Move in Without Any Background Information
A Property owner will never agree to lease their home to someone without gathering background information on them. In nearly every rental lease, the potential tenant is required to fill out an application and undergo a credit and background check. Property owners do this in order to find reliable tenants who will care for their property.
If someone offers you the property without asking for background information, requesting an application, or meeting you in person, you can probably assume that they are simply looking to steal your money.
They Offer A Rent Price That Is Too Good to Be True
The rental market across Colorado is tight and competitive, and scammers understand that renters are desperate for lower rent. However, don’t let cheap rent fool you into a shady situation. If the rent offered seems to be too good to be true, it more than likely is. While it is not impossible to find an affordable rental, be sure to take the time to research other rentals in the area, set up a showing, and proceed cautiously to protect yourself and avoid a home rental scam.
All Property Services is a reputable property management company offering legitimate rental listings along with honesty and professionalism in service. Call us today at (970) 528-5132 to find your next Fort Collins rental home.