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How to Recognize and Avoid Rental Scams | Property Management Newport Beach, CA

October 23, 2021

How to Recognize and Avoid Rental Scams | Property Management Newport Beach, CA

Renting a place to live is stressful and time-consuming. You want to find the best deal, but you also need somewhere safe and secure for your family. But, according to property management experts in Newport Beach, CA, rental scams are everywhere – Craigslist, social media groups, even word of mouth. 

You might think that you’re just saving money by going with a cheap deal on Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace, but it could cost you thousands in the long run if someone steals your deposit or doesn’t give you back your security deposit. 

This article will help guide you through the process of finding a safe rental for your family without getting scammed out of thousands of dollars. We’ll teach you how to avoid rental scams so that when it comes time to move into an apartment for rent in Newport Beach, California.

What is Rental Scam and How Does It Happen?

Experts at property management in Newport Beach, CA report that scams are a real and present danger. Unfortunately, rental scams happen every day and it’s important to be on the lookout for them. They can come in many forms:

  • rental listings that seem too good to be true
  • rental listings where you’ll need to wire money overseas before seeing the property
  • rentals from landlords who won’t meet you in person or show you around their rental property first

How do scammers scam?

Rental scammers operate by stealing rental listings off reputable rental websites and posting them on classified pages. After listing the property themselves, they advertise and offer extremely low rent to attract clients. Scammers sometimes claim to advertise properties for friends, family members, and business associates of the property owner. 

It is common for scammers to ask potential victims for application fees, deposits, rental payments, or other fees. Scammers may even break into the property so they can show it, or use the property manager’s key dispensers to give people access to the property. The scammers will then make off with the money from early rental payments made by clients who are convinced that they will be getting a secure place to live if they cooperate.

Red Flags

Scams are a hot topic in the rental industry. They can happen to anyone, but here’s how you avoid being scammed and what warning signs should look like. Millions of renters still get tricked every year–so let us help point out some telltale signals before things go south with either party involved. The top three “red flags” are an unbelievable price, landlords who only take cash and refuse to meet in person.

#1 Unbelievable Price

A property that seems too good to be true probably is. As a renter, it’s smart to check out similar properties in the area to see if a listing sounds legitimate. To come up with a fair and reasonable price for properties, property management experts in Newport Beach, CA take into account price ranges in their area and the properties they are representing. You should do the same.

#2 It’s cash only

In most cases, rental scammers will ask their victims to pay with cash, money-wiring services, or even cryptocurrency. Crime thrives on anonymity; the less traceable the scammer, the lower his likelihood of getting caught. Stay away from landlords who insist on payment in cash. The property manager who is completely above board will allow tenants to pay with checks and otherwise leave a trail for your transaction that the bank can follow if any financial questions arise. At True Property Managers in Newport Beach, Ca., every transaction is recorded and available 24/7.

#3 Refusal to Meet

In order to succeed in scamming, scammers expect their victims to send them cash as quickly as they can. Managers who discourage tenants from seeing a property in person are a major red flag. Scammers will not want to meet face to face, and requesting to see the property and meet the manager before renting is a good policy regardless of potential listing scams because it will help tenants decide if the residence is really right for them. If you’re having any doubts, it’s also a good safety measure to bring a friend or family member with them to an open house or to meet the person who made the listing.

It Can Happen to Anyone

Rental scams can happen to anyone, but you can avoid rental scams by being aware of the above “red flags.” True Property Managers have been navigating rental property and scams for years. If you would like help finding a rental property and would like to have a team of experts weed out the scammers, give us a call today at 866-957-6677. Our years of experience in property management in Newport Beach, CA can save you a lot of work, time, and headaches.

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