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How to Avoid Madison Rental Scams

A Desk with Money, Keys, and a Paper that Says Rental ScamWhen you find the most suitable Madison rental home, it may be an exciting event. However, when you’re browsing the floorplan, neighborhood, and lease terms, don’t forget to check any rental listing for hints that it’s a scam. Sadly, rental scams are fairly common, perpetrated by dishonest landlords and fake rental listings eager to scam potential tenants out of their hard-earned money. This is why it is critical to take precautions and research any rental property carefully. By knowing the red flags to look for and what to do if you think you’ve detected a scam, you can avoid falling victim to a rental scam situation.

Common Rental Scams

While there are several methods that scammers try to dupe people into giving them money, there are a few common rental scams you should be aware of. Possibly the rental scam people encounter most often is where a person claiming to be a landlord advertises a property they don’t own, or that doesn’t exist.

Another usual tactic is to create misleading or downright fictitious advertising for a property that does exist but is not owned by the person listing the home for rent. These scammers may attempt to pressure you into sending them a deposit right away or start to rush you into signing lease documents without touring the rental property first. Sadly, it’s estimated that up to 5.2 million renters have been scammed out of money by fraudulent listings.

Watch for Warning Signs

To prevent being scammed, search for warning signs that something isn’t quite right. If you notice these warning signs, you can spot a rental scam before you get deceived.

First of all, don’t forget to do your research. Review the ad closely for spelling errors, vague information, or a deal that sounds too good to be true. Chances are if it seems like an unbelievable bargain, it’s most likely a scam. It would be best to talk to the professional Madison property manager on the phone and arrange to view the property in person. If they demand a deposit first or claim to be out of the country, both of those are big red flags.

The same thing applies if the landlord insists on dealing only in cash or asks for a wire transfer. In the first case, cash-only rentals are unethical and probably illegal; therefore, they must be avoided. Requesting a wire transfer is a tactic commonly used by scammers because, like cash, wire transfers are unrecoverable once sent. In spite of what they say the money is for, never give a landlord a deposit without signing a lease first.

Best Practices for Safe Renting

One of the best ways to protect yourself from being scammed while searching for a rental home is to go through a reputable management company. Even though local property management operations may present a few listings, there is still no guarantee that they are committed to fair, ethical rental practices. The safest course of action is to choose a company with national credibility and a reputation for high-quality customer service. Secondly, choosing the right property management company to rent from may simplify the means of finding and renting your new home, reducing your options to just those that fit your budget and lifestyle. This is the smarter and more efficient way of finding your ideal rental home.

 

If you are hunting for a new rental home but want to steer clear of any scams or misleading ads, your best option is to contact Real Property Management Key Response. We are a top-ranking national company with local offices, the best of both worlds: you’ll receive local rental market expertise from a respected organization you know you can be sure about. Contact us today or check out our rental listings online.

We are pledged to the letter and spirit of U.S. policy for the achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the Nation. See Equal Housing Opportunity Statement for more information.