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How To Avoid Rental Scams

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The digital world has made finding a place to live easier than ever. However, for scammers things have also been made easier. We addressed move fraud before, but not only the fraudulent moving companies try to steal your cash (or worse, your identity). Leasing schemes are also on the rising and the safety for yourself begins with indications that something is not right.

How To Avoid Rental Scams 1

The most popular rental fraud we’ve encountered over the past year is property dealers in Islamabad or anywhere in Pakistan with no legal right to lease properties to potential tenants (or many potential tenants) who run off with security deposits, first month rentals, and sometimes even prepaid leases.

Another option on this system is paying some prospective tenants charges for background checks and running off with that money. We’ve compiled an unparalleled list of recommendations to show you how and when to spot a rental scammer while looking for a perfect place.

Never Deal In Cash:

The weak point is obtaining untraceable money for almost all theft schemes. Comprehensive fraud knows that the police are able to track the most common transactions that put them at risk of arrest. Many offenders may rely on a form of payment that is difficult to trace and will search for an easy target if you are one of them.

Also note that things like a security deposit or paying upfront last month should never require cash, wire transfers. They are becoming a regular feature of rental scams.

Never Rent Without Seeing The Actual Place:

Don’t send any money to an apartment or house you didn’t see. Rental scammers tend to be selling properties to which they have no access either because they do not own the property or because someone else is living there now. On the other hand, a real property dealer in Lahore or in other cities will make sure you tour the actual site.

If for whatever reason you can not explore an estate yourself, tell anyone you trust to test it out for you. And if the estate is not available for viewing and/or the person you’re talking to isn’t going to give you an address find it a big red flag. Also, don’t waste your time if you aren’t allowed to meet with the landlord.

Identify The Owner Of The Property:

How To Avoid Rental Scams 2 You must inquire about the homeownership documents that prove that you are working with a guy who has all the privileges to rent out this location before you go ahead and sign the lease agreement. Doing so will help you learn the legitness of this entire deal.

There’s nothing to do here when you see the ownership documents and the name there doesn’t match the landlord’s name.

Always Sign A Written Lease:

Leases are legally binding contracts, so it makes sense that anyone who tries to pull a leasing scam will not want to sign a legitimate one. Until paying any money for the house, you should always have the opportunity to read and sign a lease, and you should always do a full reading of a lease, looking for appropriate provisions and agreements. It’s tedious, but it needs to be done. 

What if they’re not going to show you a contract or want to go on without one? So always ask for a written lease and verify it with a trusted lawyer.

Talk To Current Or Previous Tenants:

One way of ensuring if the property dealer or other cities, is a trusted person or not is to contact existing tenants or those who have recently rented the house.

Some owners will be happy to give you good references but, at times, to find this information, you will need to do some small research yourself.

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