The top 10 rental scams to avoid in no particular order. You could classify the top 10 rental scams by how common or how damaging they can be so I will just list what I consider to be the most important to look out for. A great property management company will be aware of them. Most of the time these scams are perpetrated by what I call “professional tenants” which are tenants who target “For Rent By Owner” landlords.
Providing false proof or employment or rental history. When you think about it this is fairly easy to do especially if they do not expect an experienced landlord. All they have to do is provide you a false telephone number for you to call and have a friend or partner answer. You can avoid this easily as a management company as you have the tools to do so. As a private landlord you must research the company and compare the contact information.
Fake Credit Reports- In today’s high-tech age this is fairly easy for someone to fake. Once again, a professional property manager will never take a credit report from a prospective tenant. However, an inexperienced landlord who wants to believe the best about his new tenants may. Unfortunately, once the lease has been signed that landlord now has a new set of problems. Namely getting the tenant to pay rent and likely learning about the eviction process.
Lying about co-tenants. Who would do this? Potentially someone harboring someone with a criminal history or a fleeing felon etc. Avoid this by insisting everyone over 18 provide photo identification and periodically confirm who lives at the home. There can be owner liabilities if the worst thing possible happens. If you have been a landlord, you know what I mean. To defend yourself have a great property management company do this for you.
Cashback Scam. Namely giving you some type of check that is larger than what is needed to cover the move in costs and then asking you to you them back the difference. Needless to say, these scammers prey on those who have not experienced a professional scam artist yet. The solution is to insist on a check in the proper amount or have them wire the money.
No intention of ever paying rent. The worst kind of transaction is a fast one. These tenants typically need a place now and don’t really question how much the rent is. They may drive a very nice car and seem to have money. However, they have no intention to share their money with the landlord. They will just give out an education on eviction proceedings to the rookie landlord.
Subletting-In a word this is your legal tenant leasing/renting the home or property out to someone else. This can be in the form of a roommate/tenant possibly not on your lease. Or in some cases the tenant may move out completely and lease the home out for possibly even more money. You may not know until the legal lease is up and the legal problems begin.
Operating a Home Store- Some counties, cities or homeowners’ associations may restrict home businesses. Zoning may prohibit them etc. These governing bodies will possibly come after the homeowner for penalties and to stop the action. Fellow nearby home owners will probably notice the traffic and report it. There are some areas which even prohibit AMWAY etc.