Real estate rental is the subject of many scams, both on the side of the owners and on the side of tenants who may be victims of fraudulent practices. To avoid unpleasant surprises, it is important to know the most common practices in order to guard against them. So, how to avoid real estate rental scams?
Scams to avoid for tenants
First of all, if the deal really seems too good to be real, it's better not to follow through. Indeed, if the proposed rent is too below the rental rates of the market, there is perhaps eel rock!
Once you have found a property that seems interesting to you, you still need to remain vigilant. Be careful, never send money under the pretext of book the apartment or the house for rent which would be located in a highly requested area, even if there is a promise to move your rental file ahead of the others. Moreover, it is strongly discouraged to pay money without signing the lease (especially in case you have not visited the property in question).
And when everything is in order and a payment is to be made (including deposit or first rent), it is necessary to use a service of regulated payment, secure and displaying good traceability. In particular, credit cards and bank transfers guarantee this traceability (especially no cash payment).
Owners: what to know before renting a property
Homeowners can also be scammed by false tenants ". A dishonest person says, for example, that she wants to rent a property quickly. In this context, it sends a check so-called deposit posting a larger amount than that requested by the owner. This fraudster later says that this is a misunderstanding. He then demands that the excess sent be returned to him. In the end, the owner realizes that the check is not valid and has been rejected by the bank.
We must also be wary of people who want rent without even seeing the property for rent. Sometimes they say they are prepared to pay part of the amount in cash. In this context, they request the bank details of the owner. It is better not to follow up.
Finally, you should never send copies of the official documents of your property to rent. Do not send any personal data such as a photocopy of identity card or passport, to avoid identity theft.
Attention to the inventory, a document source of dispute
Finally, last point of scam that is valid for both homeowners and tenants: the inventory. This document must be written and signed jointly by the two signatories. The drafting of the inventory should not be sloppy, and every detail must be checked carefully (report a crack, a broken tile, a hole in the wall, a water leak...). Indeed, at the departure of the tenant, an inventory will be made of the exit, a moment which is often source of litigation, in particular at the level of the refund of the deposit.