The first step in preparing a magnificent foreign lifestyle is to secure a place to stay. As appealing as it may sound, the options and process may be overwhelming.
Let’s take an example, search for ‘’student housing in Nottingham’’.
You may find hundreds of postings with various features that may make you feel apprehensive.
You might have a hard time recognising a legitimate property with so many options and platforms.
Scammers are not unheard of in the rental industry. We’re all vulnerable to scam artists, even if we never think it would happen to us. Fortunately, even in these COVID-19 times, there are ways to protect ourselves from the most basic to the most clever scammer when everything is happening online.
Here are some of the many red flags that you should look out for:
Lease is missing
Some con artists will ask you to rent a student apartment in Bristol or unit without requiring you to sign any paperwork. It’s not a good idea! Verbal agreements are unusual and should be regarded with caution. Month-to-month leases are popular, but they usually come with some sort of pre-signed agreement. A rental agreement that isn’t accompanied by a lease has the potential to be a rental scam.
This rental fraud may become more widespread due to COVID-19, as many renters are opting for virtual tours of apartments, remote lease signing, and limited interactions with landlords and property managers.
Do not rent unless you have seen a lease or rental agreement. Ask to see a lease upfront; you’ll thank yourself afterwards. If a landlord provides a lease, read it thoroughly and ask questions before making any decisions.
Asking for expensive background checks
Before a renter moves in, it’s common for landlords to run a background check on them. Landlords shall always ensure that the people with whom they are signing an agreement and leasing their property to are in fact exactly the people who they claim to be.
The cost required in the process of the background check is often included in the rental application fee. On the other hand, some will demand a large sum of money, claiming that this is how much they require from you to cover the expense of a background check.
It’s necessary to never give cash for a background check on the spot or immediately. You should consult a trustworthy and renowned real estate agent or broker if something doesn’t sit right with you during the application process.
Demanding advance payments
To view the student apartment in Glasgow, the landlord may require payment in advance or an appointment with the agent. They will stop communicating with you once they have the funds. Some may provide you with a foreign account number or a name that does not appear to be from the area.
Such scammers will try to persuade you to reserve the house by paying a deposit before it is leased to someone else. Because bitcoin and wire transfer transactions are untraceable, scammers frequently use them.
Duplicate or copied listings
A typical home scam involves copying the facts and photos from an actual website. There may be enticing deals and gift coupons on the website to divert your attention away from the real listing. When compared to the market, these are frequently less expensive. You’ll have a rough ride while finding a legitimate listing, just like you did with the false addresses.
A few things that you should keep at the back of your head to avoid housing scams
- Accepting payment in cash, bitcoin, or wire transfer is not a good idea. Scammers enjoy these payments because they’re almost impossible to track. They can quickly disappear with your money once you’ve paid them without leaving a written record. For online rental payments, legitimate landlords and property management organisations will accept checks, cashier’s checks, or credit/debit cards.
- Check to see who owns the property. Check city or county records if you’re chatting with someone who claims to own a property but things don’t seem right. This is a simple technique to find out who owns properties and identify if a scammer is posing as an owner.
- Be cautious about disclosing personal information. If you give a scammer your full name, address, date of birth, and pretty much anything else they’d need, they are likely to steal your identity on a rental application. If something appears to be suspicious, investigate deeper before disclosing any important information.
Amber is devoted to providing you with the very best experiences and options when you are seeking student accommodation. They have upgraded regularly with the COVID-19 protocols and policies.
Your ideal home is just a click of a mouse away!
Anannya Chaudhary is a content writer living in Delhi. As soon as the clock strikes the completion of the last working minute of her office hours, you can find her on the way to her favourite food joint, brimming with joy and excitement to devour a plate of her all-time favourite, chicken momos. You could classify her as that one annoying friend who makes you cry if you resist them dragging you to the dance floor.