3 Tips to Avoid Apartment Rental Scams

It is unfortunate but true that rental scams are fairly commonplace nowadays. With the rise of buying or leasing property over the internet, it is much easier for you, as a renter, to get scammed, especially if you are looking to rent a property in a different state or country than you currently live. However, there are also tools that you have and tips that you can follow to ensure that you don’t fall prey to these scams. Here are some tips to think about when you are starting your online search for 2 bedroom apartments in MN.

Look Before You Rent

It is vitally important that you check out a rental property before you sign a lease for it. Not only can the place not even exist, but if it does exist and turns out to be a legitimate property, the photos could be from a much earlier time and not resemble the property as it is now. Previous renters could trash the place before you move in, and although you can take your landlord to court or try to get out of a lease early because of these issues, you’d much rather not have to deal with a hassle like that.

You also want to “smell” before you rent. Even if an apartment or home is listed as nonsmoking and no pets, there is no guarantee that the previous renters adhered to these rules in the duration of their stay. You may think that you are getting a nice, clean living area that is void of all odd smells, but the previous renters could have gotten pet or smoke odors into the fibers of the carpet-even the paint on the walls can hold in that smoke smell. It is important that you check out an apartment firsthand so that you know it isn’t smelly.

Common Scam Signs

Many times, scammers are people from other countries or states outside the one you are looking to rent in, though this is not always the case. Scammers can create internet scams from anywhere, so you should be wary of some telltale signs.

  • The landlord is unwilling to talk on the phone or give a phone number.
  • If the landlord does talk on the phone, the number is from a different state.
  • Emails are lengthy, do not answer questions that you ask, and have very bad grammar.
  • There is always a very odd reason that they want to rent the property as soon as possible and they are unable to meet in person.

If you have a bad gut reaction to your correspondence, then trust that feeling and walk away.

Look Up the Property

A good idea when you are looking to rent a property is to look up the address on other sites. Sometimes a scammer will be careless and there will be a watermark from a different real estate website on the photo. If you look up that website and the same property is listed for a different price or under a different landlord’s name, then you will know that at least one of them is a scam. You should also look up the property on Google Earth so you can make sure that it is a real address and that it resembles what is in the description. Remember when you do this, however, that the images from Google Earth can be a bit outdated, so if this is a newer or renovated house, it may appear a bit different in the images.

It can be easy to be scammed while you are on your property search, but if you adhere to these tips, you will be able to find several legitimate 2 bedroom apartments in MN to fit your needs.