Caveat Emptor. That is a Latin phrase that is used in the real estate field which means "let the buyer beware." While much has been done for prospective home buyers to protect them from scams, the same cannot be said for prospective tenants. Anyone in the market for an apartment or house to rent should beware of some of the scams being promoted to separate them from their money.
Most of us can recognize fake ads by misspellings or abnormal use of the English language. Those that run fake ads have nothing to rent. Their goal is to obtain information that will give them access to your bank account, credit card or other assets in your name.
Demand for upfront fees
Recently a landlord was contacted by several different people claiming they had paid a deposit for a vacant unit and wanted to know when they could move in. The landlord had not had contact with any of them. The prospects had called on an ad posted at a local laundromat and had actually met someone at the apartment that claimed to be the manager. The scammer collected deposits from several prospects promising that they could move in at the beginning of the next month. Of course the scammer was long gone by then and the prospective tenants were out their deposit.
Too good to be true
If something sounds like it's too good to be true, it probably isn't true. If a rental unit is offered at below market rents or includes incentives that are excessive, most likely the offering is a scam.
Any legitimate rental agency will require a completed application before agreeing to a lease. If the party claiming to be the owner or manager is more interested in getting a deposit than learning about your rental or job history, beware! It could be a scam.
The best way to avoid scams is to work with a reputable property management firm that has a real office and real property managers available to assist you in finding an apartment that fits your needs and fits your budget.
Clark Real Estate
305 W. Moana Ste C
Reno, NV 89509