Real Estate Pitfalls: Watch out for These 6 Red Flags That Help You Identify a Rental Scam

by admin October 3, 2018

Without a doubt, the rental world has some shady characters. In fact, you may have come across a few yourself or heard stories about people getting scammed. Fortunately, there are ways you can protect yourself from being scammed. Watch out for these red flags which will assist you to identify a rental scam.

The Unit is in High Demand

This is a common red flag you need to be careful about. The scammer will tell you that the property or unit is in high demand so you need to make a deposit to reserve it. Do not allow your excitement and eagerness overshadow your hesitations of not getting to see the apartment in-person.

Pay Cash Now

As is the case with most transactions involving property, there is often a sense of urgency involved. When it comes to making payments, scammers rely on pressuring you to wire them the money. Asking for cash up front is often a red flag you need to watch out for as this shows you are most likely dealing with a dishonest person.

Background Check

The rental application fee in most cases involves the price of a background check. Scammers will request some exorbitant amounts to be used for background checks. To avoid being a victim of this scam, work with a reliable real estate broker or agent, so you can know where to go if you feel that something is not right during the process.

No Lease

The landlord should be ready to produce the lease agreement if asked to do so. If they don’t, then consider that a red flag. To avoid this scam, do not rent a spot without a rental or lease agreement. Demand to see the lease from the beginning, and you’ll have yourself to thank later.  


When it comes to renting a property, you need to teach your landlord how they are supposed to treat you. This implies demanding that the agreements and transactions be documented and signed on paper. If your potential landlord is hesitant to do so, then you need to consider other alternatives. There are numerous spaces you can rent, and even when the deal appears to be very enticing, be keen on ensuring everything is done the right way. Any landlord who is accountable and trustworthy will not hesitate to produce the following when asked to the rental application, some contact information, a lease, a credit check, and some references.

No Rental Address

If the poster for the rental does not contain its address and offers unrealistic reasons for not doing so, then consider that a red flag. Some scammers do not provide addresses because there are no rentals in the first place.

Final Word

Whether it’s a sweet old lady or an expert scammer, your money must always come first. This implies not trusting anyone because of their looks or because they sound like honest people. Just like anything else, renting a space is a business transaction and your inability to protect your finances may end up costing you a lot of money.