Yes, it’s true! Rental property scams are a thing and can happen to anyone! Official government websites have repeatedly asked renters to be super sure of the identities of the people they deal with. Online trading and renting of residential properties are major reasons why the scam game within the rental industry has increased. In the coming years, while more people try to grapple with the concept of renting houses through online channels, they are most likely to come across scammers who misrepresent their identities online.
The Federal Trade Commission has warned renters against the many online property scams quite common online. From fake listings to marketing non-existent rentals, several scams have been pulled on renters and tenants alike to extract online payments from them.
Most scammers abuse the sense of convenience people enjoy by not taking the hassle to tour properties or meet the tenant before renting the property. Frauds online trap users by selling them exactly the property they desire. The moment an online website tries to sell you your “Dream House”, know that they are about to scam you.
Property experts insist all property hunting, either for buying or selling, should begin with the primary assumption that a perfect house would come at a good price. Any online real estate listing that tries to tell you otherwise is a long-time internet fraud.
The law enforcement agencies in the US are quite vigilant about rental housing and listing scams popular on the internet. As a part of your rental hunting project, you might make some calls and visit some websites. When you come across an overly lucrative website that offers some of the most incredible listings at negligible pricing, try to contact the law enforcement agencies in your vicinity.
Hire A Residential Property Management Service
If you’re a landlord, the last thing you’d want for your real estate is to get embroiled in a messy online scam. The best bet here would be to have a property management service in King County work for you. Residential property management companies enjoy a good rapport within the local market. Their tenant screening services make sure the tenant offers a thorough background check, comes with authentic references, and provides complete personal details before renting the property.
Here’s a list of a few rental scams that tenants can pull on their landlords.
Not Disclosing the Size of the Family
As a landlord, you might have seen many queries about renters wanting to rent their homes to small families. Other renters usually go for families that don’t have too many adult members, such as grown-up kids, living together.
The actual size of the family is only disclosed when a plethora of new faces are spotted entering and leaving your rental’s premises. Tenants may have extra members living with them in your house. Make sure you know the identity of each of them or mention the acceptable number of residents in the lease.
Displaying Incorrect/Fraudulent Personal Documents
The demand for rentals has only increased in the last few years. Consumers find it a more convenient option to rent homes near their workplaces. According to data, there were around 44 million homes rented in 2021. For the coming years, predictions vouch for an increase in the rental property market.
One of the most common scams that tenants can engage in is showing fake documents and referrals when renting. As a landlord, you need to be extra vigilant about performing a background check. Verify all the documents that the applicants provide before tenant confirmation.
Rental thrashing needs extra attention if you offer your property as a short-term rental. Fraudulent tenants may simply be hiring your apartment to do away with a few of its equipment for their benefit. Landlords have narrated numerous stories of rental thrashing. Selling away home appliances like the washer, dryer, or stove before evacuating the rental are some tenant malpractices landlords need to be aware of.
Timely rental home inspections to look out for possible repairs and damage is a way landlords can figure out how their property is being treated. If you’ve got a lot on your plate as a landlord, immediately involve affordable property management services in Pierce and King County, WA, to conduct timely rental property inspections.
Illegally Sub-leasing Your Apartment
Sub-leasing a rental is when your tenants rent out your apartment for some time to other third-party tenants. The sub-leasing is covered within the lease document’s duration. Cunning tenants often leave their rental to third parties without informing the landlord. This is as fishy as it gets since third-party tenants don’t know anything about the lease agreement. In such scenarios, the landlord rarely gets into deals with third-party tenants.
Some tenants don’t want to live in rentals for a long-time. They already know this and look for schemes to ward off the rent. An easy way to go about it is to make rental payments through checks. By the time the landlord would cash the payment, the scamming tenants are long gone. Always cash your rent checks at the earliest. Payments made via cash; before the move-in dates for tenants, should also be scanned.
Get in touch with property managers at Sensible Home Management to screen your prospective tenants.
The Make-Shift Landlord
The internet has made it easy to copy and post property listings under different names. Scammers share your property listing and become make-shift landlords looking for tenants. The listings are taken down after some time.
Don’t get overwhelmed by all you have to look after as a landlord. Book our property management services in King County every month! Our services require no renewal fee on leases and offer online payment facilities. To avail our tenant screening and property inspection services in King and Pierce Counties, WA, contact us at (253) 2360337.