Roost Realty
rental scams

Rental Scams

September 14, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Unfortunately, we have seen a rise in the number of rental scams. Craigslist has always been plagued with scammers but now they have found a way to infiltrate popular sites such as Zillow, Hotpads, Trulia and other sites where posts can be syndicated.

Just this week we were contacted by a potential renter who called to inquire about one of our rental homes. She was confused because she has seen our listing on hotpads.com and also another for the same house that was posted by someone that we had never heard of before. Hotpads was very repsonsive and we were able to have the bogus listing removed within an hour of our reporting. The bogus posting had no pictures and listed an out of state phone number. But pictures are often stolen and reposted by the scammers. And as they typically do, the scammer posted the rental for less than the market rent.

 

So how can them public protect themselves?

  • Is the rent much better than other homes listed in the area?
  • Is the home represented by a local Property Manager?     You can check the company out through organizations like the National Association of Residential Property Managers (NARPM) or the local Board or REALTORS.
  • Is it listed by the Owner? If so then you can check the local tax records to see if the names match.
  • Is the home listed with an out of state phone number?
  • Does the landlord say that they are out of town but can have a friend or family member meet you?

Obviously, these are not always going to be signs of scam but it can help to weed through the bogus postings.  Be careful out there!

Roost Realty