Check Themselves Before They Wreck Your Sales

Check Themselves Before They Wreck Your Sales

Dealing With Rental Scammers That Can Damage Your Tenants, Your Property, and You.

Rental scams are a nightmare from a tenant’s perspective. Many are desperate to find an affordable living space in a time where rent prices are at an all-time high. This can lead to making a deposit on the promise of a cheap apartment only to find the “landlord” disappeared and the apartment they’d seen pictures of DOES exist…30 miles away. Sadly, this scenario is not uncommon. A July 2018 survey by Apartment List noted 6.4% of US renters lost money to rental fraud. This resulted in an estimated 5.2 million rental fraud victims per year.

From a property manager’s perspective, scams that target tenants can be just as damaging to you and your property. Having to explain to an angry family whom you’ve never met that they’ve been duped by a scammer claiming to be the landlord, while at the same time trying to assure the actual tenants that they’ve rightfully secured the apartment unit, can be a stressful situation that will likely take place in a public setting and alert and disturb other passing tenants. This could damage the reputation of your property through word of mouth and could cost you revenue down the line.

Even worse, there are scams that specifically target property managers and landlords as well. A scammer “tenant” may contact and inquire about a unit for rent. When the time comes for a deposit to be made, the scammer will overpay, whether by a “mistake” or because of a preconceived notion regarding fees. This payment will usually come in the form of a credit card number or check; while there are plenty of reasons on why you should not accept credit card payments, let’s say you are able to collect the check at the moment. They then ask you to refund the excess amount through an online bank transfer, wire transfer, or pre-loaded money card. If you’ve sent the scammer money back, you’ll find the check has bounced and they made off with the money.

Also, keep watchful eyes on your property and carry out background checks on any potential tenants. Do NOT let them over pay; cancel any transactions that require any sort of wiring of funds through Western Union or another such company. Be sure to stay vigilant, and if you do encounter a potential scammer, be sure to report them through the appropriate agencies.

Ramil Doronio

Ramil Doronio is a content marketer by day and creative writer by night. His love of real estate and property management far exceeds his need for sleep. You can find him furiously typing on his laptop in between trips to…
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