Welcome to San Diego Blog | April 10, 2018
Investors Beware! Rental Scams for 2018
Often people worry about falsified rental advertisements and fake landlords who will steal your deposit and don’t actually own the unit you applied for. Even worse is landlords who accept 12 months rent at “a discount” and then disappear! But what most renters don’t realize is the same thing can happen to owners. These are the 3 most common scams that renters pull off when trying to get a property they do not qualify for:
Falsified Financial Documents
One of the most common scams is falsifying personal information. With modern technology and social media it is easier to verify than ever before. However prospective tenants can lie about anything from rental history, employment, salary, pets, roommates, the list is never ending. This information can and should be verified by a call to a boss, a bank or a previous property manager. A credit check will also help to determine their fiscal responsibility in the past
The easiest way to avoid this is to never accept a personal check. Always require that first months rent and security deposit be submitted with a Cashier’s Check. Then call the issuing bank to ensure it is authentic. The best way to ensure you don’t have a financial nightmare when a tenant takes possession is to deposit the funds in your account at least three business days before your tenant takes possession to ensure the funds are hard.
When renting a larger property than they can afford renters will often allow tenants who are not on the lease to live in your property and collect a monthly fee from them, and the renter is often turning a profit! This might not seem like a big deal as long as you are collecting your rent on time each month, but it can quickly snowball into a financial and legal disaster. For example if the tenant on the lease decides to move out and their illegal roommate decides to stay the eviction process becomes much harder and longer, which is VERY expensive.
Another easy way to avoid these issues is to hire an experienced property manager. They have seen all of these scams before and know how to avoid them, while at the same time maximizing the value of your investment property!