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House rental scams are on the rise and have been an issue for a while now. Rental scams have been happening for years and are still happening today. However, there are some newer scams that may not be as common but should be looked out for nonetheless.
Here is a list of Craigslist rental scams to avoid:
Craigslist Scam #1: Ineligible Lease
If you get a lease that doesn’t make sense, it’s probably a scam. The only thing they want is your money and they will do anything to get it. A lease that doesn’t make sense could be something like wanting you to rent a $500,000 house but forcing you to pay $500 per month or more (and asking you to make all the repairs).
They want your money so badly that they will try anything to get it including trying to scam you with ineligibility. If the house looks too good to be true, it probably is. If it seems too good to be true, there is probably something wrong with it.
Craigslist Scam #2: Overpaying For The House
The person selling the house usually doesn’t want your money but wants their own money back from you. So they try to overpay you to make sure you won’t report them to the credit agencies. They will overpay you up front and then when they want their money back, they will take it out of your rent or security deposit.
Craigslist Scam #3: Not Living In The House
The person selling the house does not live in the house and may not even be renting it out. The person selling the house is probably just using it as a place to store their stuff while they rent another house. They will use Craigslist and other websites to try and find renters but are not actually living in the house themselves.
While this might not be a major red flag that something is wrong with the property, you need to be careful and inspect it. There might be any other issues with the property that aren’t mentioned in the ad.
Craigslist Scam #4: A Fake Lease For The House
The most common scam on Craigslist is the fake lease for the house. Sometimes they are sent to you via email, but they often appear in your inbox on Craigslist.
They can come from anyone and will say that they want to lease the house, but you need to sign a lease before you can move in. They usually come with some kind of receipt showing a payment made to them, but it’s just a fake copy of your real payment.
Once you’ve paid the fake leaseholder a sum of money, they tell you that you need to sign a new lease or else they will throw out all your stuff and send you all your stuff back as trash. This means that there is no way out of this scam because there is no way for them to throw out your stuff without getting their hands dirty.
Craigslist Scam #5: A Fake Guarantee
A common Craigslist rental scam is when a scammer offers to guarantee that the apartment will be rented, but then denies any responsibility if it doesn't get rented. This happens because a lot of people are hesitant to rent to someone who doesn't have any experience renting on Craigslist.
There are plenty of other scams that take advantage of this kind of fear, but in this case, the scammer is taking advantage of it.
You can avoid this scam by looking for legitimate guarantees from landlords on Craigslist, such as references or proof that they actually have a rental property for rent. You can also ask the landlord if they would be willing to rent to you first before making an offer on their property.
You should also contact your credit card company and ask them about insurance coverage for any transactions you make with a landlord you don't know. Finally, if there is anything in the listing that gives you pause, don't make an offer – just move on and find another apartment
Tips on Choosing Craigslist Rental Properties
Craigslist is a great place to find houses for rent. However, you need to be careful about the properties you choose because there are a lot of scams out there. You should also be very careful about how much you pay for the house because you don’t want to get scammed. Here are some tips on choosing the right house:
Ask For References
Before you rent any house, you should always ask for references. A good way to do this is to make a list of questions and then ask the landlord to call each person they rented the house to and ask them if they would recommend the landlord.
If they say yes, then you can feel more comfortable renting the house. You should also always do a background check on each person who will be renting out their property because some people may try to scam you.
Make Sure The House Is In Good Condition
If the house looks nice, it probably is in good condition. However, there are some houses that are in bad condition that are being rented out just because they are cheap and don’t want to spend money on repairs or improvements.
You should always make sure that the house is in good condition before you rent it out because it will help you get more money for your rent and protect yourself from scams.
It’s also a good idea to get a quote from an inspector before you move into a house so that you know exactly what it will cost to fix all of the problems with the house and make sure everything is in good working order before moving in.
Inspect The House Yourself
You should always do a full inspection of the house before you rent it out. It’s a good idea to have the landlord come along with you to show you where all of the problems are so that you can see what needs to be fixed.
You should also make sure that the house is in good condition before you move in because it will save you money on repairs and protect you from scams.
The landlord should also be able to give you a list of all of the things that need to be fixed and when they will be done so that you can schedule everything ahead of time. You don’t want to wait until you move in and then find out that the house needs a lot of work done.