All rentals aren’t created equal, even though looking for an apartment online is quicker and more convenient than ever before. Rental scams affecting the real estate market have been perpetrated by unscrupulous people or businesses hoping to take advantage of unsuspecting renters. It’s not impossible to steer clear of rental scams, thanks to several helpful pointers. When looking for a new house, keep an eye out for these warning signs of scammers. Invest in Capital Smart City.
Tenant-landlord fraud has existed for as long as there have been landlord-tenant relationships. Rental property owners withholding security deposits from their renters has long been a prevalent swindle. It’s never been easier to commit outright fraud because the world has shrunk considerably, technology has increased, and landlord-tenant connections have been more private. As you’ll see, the housing shortage has created an opportunity for crooks that they cannot pass up.
Scammers who don’t have the legal authority to lease a home are the most prevalent perpetrators of rental scams we’ve seen in the last year, stealing the security deposit, the first month’s rent, and occasionally even the prepaid rent.
Some landlords charge prospective renters fees for background checks, then take the money they’ve collected. For $50, a background check can be charged to a large number of possible renters, allowing the thief to profit greatly.
How Can You Prevent These Frauds?
To avoid the most complex frauds, take the following advice to reduce your risk of falling victim.
DO ONLINE RESEARCH:
The greatest way to prevent rental scams is by doing your homework. Before making a final selection, do some internet research on homes and take note of the descriptions of the apartments to see what is and is not included within your rental, the location of the home, and any other relevant information. Read more about your potential new house through customer reviews and social media comments before making a final decision. Additionally, these can help you get a better sense of the satisfaction level of the apartment you’re interested in renting and the owner’s character. Do not be afraid to contact the building’s owner or landlord or the firm in charge of its management if you have any further issues not addressed on the website.
DEMAND LEASE IN WRITING:
In Illinois, oral leases are legal, but they have some drawbacks. A month-to-month lease is acceptable if both the tenant and the landlord agree; nevertheless, the contract must be in writing to guard against fraud and clearly outline the rights and responsibilities of each party. Additionally, a tenant should insist that the landlord sign a copy of their written lease.
Once the renter signs an unsigned lease, landlords typically request that the tenant return a signed copy. Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for the landlord to fail to provide the tenant with a complete copy of the signed lease agreement. Landlords and tenants should sign their leases face-to-face, and both should withdraw with a copy of the document.
AVOID DEALING IN CASH:
The leasing agreement cannot be documented with cash payments. The only proof you’ve paid for a condominium is if someone has your money. There are many legal online rental forums, but an owner that demands cash-only for the first month’s rent, a deposit, or any further price is a fraud red flag. Do not forget that landlords are likewise concerned about their safety. Renters will appreciate the ability to follow the money as well. The decision to relocate is personal, but the process begins as a commercial one. A certain amount of formality is required when dealing with property maintenance and real estate transactions, including not turning the cash to a stranger.
TALK TO CURRENT TENANTS:
In the vast majority of situations, owners are showing a rented unit. Fraudulent operations in occupied units are becoming less common. Look into how your landlord treats his renters and whether anything weird occurs by speaking with present occupants while the landlord isn’t around.
HIRE A LICENSED PROPERTY AGENT:
Real estate agencies commonly manage Chicago’s rental properties, and tenants often have their agent, particularly in the city’s more expensive neighborhoods. There is less likelihood of a scammer listing a property with an agent, and you can also hold the agent liable if you are duped. Having an agent represent you is a considerable precaution. Although some scammers appear to be agents, some can even hijack accounts and replace contact information with that of the scammers.
COMPARE THE PRICES:
There should be a price (or at least a range of prices) assigned to each rental unit. This can be used to see how your rent stacks up against those in the neighborhood. Certain conditions may lead to higher rents, but anything that seems too exaggerated could indicate fraud. You should be skeptical of low rents that appear too good to be true. If a rental listing is priced far below market, it could be a fraud or indicate issues with the unit, building, or neighborhood. Blue World City is located in very appealing location.
Hamna Siddiqui is a content writer for Sigma Properties. She loves traveling with a great fashion sense, and you will see the reflection of her creativity in her writing. With marketing majors, Hamna understands the details of the niche.