Scam artists are getting more creative with their methods of targeting renters online. As you navigate the ever-fluctuating local real estate market in search of your next apartment, you may be tempted to jump on the first great deal. Before signing a lease on a new place, get familiar with these potential indicators of a rental scam.
The Price Is Too Good to Be True
While great deals exist, you shouldn't ignore your better judgment when you're looking for a new place to rent. If a property listing advertises only new and seemingly expensive amenities for units priced at rates significantly lower than their counterparts on the market, chances are it's probably not legitimate.
If you see a listing you like but are perplexed by the price, look up similar residences in the neighborhood to gain a better idea of the area's median price. If you're able to schedule a showing in person, ask the landlord or realtor about previous tenants and prices for other available units.
You Can't Identify or Get in Touch With the Landlord
Although this may seem like an obvious sign of fraud, if your prospective landlord claims they are unavailable to give you a tour of the unit but still encourages you to sign a lease, move on to the next option. You don't want to entrust personal or sensitive information with an unknown party online, even if they claim to be the owner of the property you want to rent. Phone calls aren't always reliable, but it's definitely better to speak with someone than only communicate through email.
If you're feeling stuck because you plan to move to a far-away city and viewing the apartment in person isn't a practical option for you, ask about a virtual tour option or have a friend who's available see the apartment in person.
Lack of Screening Process for New Tenants
When you're ready to fill out a rental application, the owner or property manager should conduct their own background and credit checks. If you find yourself communicating with a landlord who is ready to lease to new tenants without performing any of their own vetting, you should find out more about the state of the unit you're interested in and whether the owner will reliably fulfill maintenance responsibilities.
After you've vetted and chosen the perfect apartment, call Lee Moving & Storage, Inc. to help transport your belongings to your new home. Our team of New Orleans movers has provided residential, office, and specialty moving services to the community for over 61 years. Request a quote today and ask us about our long-distance moving services if you're planning to relocate to another part of the U.S.