The Internet has created a lot of great industries and allowed commerce to flow into places it normally would not take place. But the Internet can also be a place where criminals pull off scams that hurt honest people. If you are apartment hunting, then you will want to be careful when using the Internet to find and rent apartments. There are plenty of red flags to look out for as you are trying to find your next home.
While email and texting are convenient, they can also be used as a shield by people who have nefarious intentions. If you are trying to rent an apartment from a landlord online and the landlord refuses to give you a phone number or meet you in person, then that is a sign that something about the situation is not right.
To the generations before the Internet, the idea of renting an apartment without seeing it sounds ridiculous. But with the newer generations doing so much business online, it is not impossible to think that a landlord would ask that a new tenant put down the deposit and first month's rent without seeing it first. That can sound convenient, but it is something you should never do. You should always be allowed to see an apartment before renting it.
In some cases, tenants may think that renting an apartment without a lease is great for them because they are not locked into a financial agreement. But a lease protects the landlord and the tenant, and you could be asking for a lot of trouble if you move into an apartment without a clear outline of what is expected from both sides.
One of the tell-tale signs that an apartment listing that requires a deposit and first month's rent is a fake is when the description is very hard to read. If the description of the apartment has numerous spelling errors and horrible sentence structure, then there is a good chance that you are dealing with a scam artist.
While it is nice when a potential landlord seems to be a nice person who wants to help, it can be a red flag if that person seems too willing to rent you an apartment. A landlord who is too eager is trying to hide something, or they are hoping that you will sign the lease before finding out some terrible secret about the rental. Always put your guard up when you are dealing with a landlord who seems way too anxious to get you to sign the lease.
Most potential landlords will request permission to check out your credit report because they want to see if you are going to be able to pay your rent. But when a potential landlord starts asking you for your bank account number, social security number, or credit card number, then it is time to look for a different rental.
The process of finding a new place to live can be complicated, and it is only made worse by criminals who are out to steal your money. Always be vigilant when dealing with potential landlords and get away from a transaction that starts to seem suspicious.