How to Avoid Rental Scams

The time has finally come – you are officially on your way to renting your very own, first apartment! When you first begin the process, although exciting, it can come off as extremely daunting and confusing. There is a lot that goes into the renting process, and a lot that you must be aware of to ensure that you are working with a reputable agent or landlord, and that you are getting the best deal possible. Unfortunately, there are a lot of rental scams in the world that many first-time renters are not at all aware of. Here are a few signs that you may be dealing with a rental scam:

  • They are requesting cash or wired money. If you find that you are working with an agent or landlord that is requesting to be paid only in cash, note that this is a huge red flag! By paying in cash, there is no formal evidence of the transaction. Wiring money is another red flag that is not part of the formal renting process. If asked to wire money, it is another clear sign that you may be dealing with a scam.
  • They are asking you to sign without seeing the property. All reputable agents and landlords are aware that potential tenants require seeing the property before deciding that they would like to put money down and sign the contract. Make sure that you see all aspects of the property before making any written agreement.
  • They only require a verbal agreement. When it comes to agreements and contracting, absolutely everything should be in writing. If they are only requiring a verbal agreement, and are not asking you to sign anything, know that this should be of concern! To protect yourself, everything regarding the lease must be clearly written out and signed by both parties.