Is This A Rental Scam?

According to Forbes, in 2018 5.2 million people have lost money to rental scams

 43.1% of American Renters have fallen victim to a Rental Scam

Dont Be A Statistic

Renting in today’s world is much different than in the past. With many movers coming from out-of-state and even more looking for safer virtual and contactless home viewing options, rental scams are at an ultimate high. Spotting a scam can be tricky, scammers have gotten good at what they do. From creating realistic listings and even providing what looks to be a real lease, we’re going to give you our best tips on identifying rental scams.

Apartment Scammers Prey on Tenants with Deadlines

Moving in a tight window of time is stressful and can put you in a vulnerable position. Rental home scammers see you as an easy target. Never volunteer your situation or backstory immediately.

Watch For Super Cheap Rents

“If it seems too good to be true, it usually is.” If you’re searching for rental homes and notice one site lists a home’s rent significantly cheaper than the rest it’s a scam.

MoveZen Professional Estimate of Your Rental Range [Not an Algorithm]

Background Checks Before Seeing the Home

Trustworthy rental property management companies will never ask you for sensitive information prior to you viewing the home. Both parties will have questions and now is the time to get a good idea of who you’ll be working with.

Research Your Landlord or Property Management Company

Never send money to a ‘landlord’ you’ve not met, spoken on the phone with, or researched. Many scammers prey on desperate renters and use very convincing tactics to persuade them that this home is a great deal and wont last long. Any reputable landlord or property manager, realtor, or apartment group will have easy-to-find info about their organization and tons of great reviews!

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

Not only is a severely reduced price an obvious sign of a rental home scam, take a good hard look at their photos too! Most scammers will pull and reuse actual listing pictures from trustworthy management companies. Many times these pictures will be older than current images and more often than not come out in much poorer quality.

View Available Rental Homes Virtually with MoveZen Property Management

Whos is the Legal Owner?

Whether you’re looking through Zillow or Apartments.Com, you’re likely to see ‘for lease by owner’. You’re welcome to ask this landlord for his or her full name and lookup tax records to see if they indeed own the property. We highly discourage looking for a home through Craigslist as it’s prone to scammers.

Is this Property Managment Legit?

Being a landlord is a lot of work so many homeowners choose to have a great property management company near them to represent the home. Many rental sites will verify if the company is real or not but if you don’t see that, look for the company’s website, Google reviews, or if they’re involved with the Better Business Bureau.

Make Sure You See the Inside

A true landlord or property manager knows the importance of their future tenant seeing the inside of a home and will go to great lengths to ensure that happens. We want to prepare for any issues our future tenants may see and address them before a tenant moves in or backs out of the home completely.

Is It Listed For Sale?

Empty homes are an easy target for scammers. They figure out how to gain entry and then “rent” out the unit always at an unbelievable rate. Once they get your deposit and first month’s rent you never see them again but the police show up and accuse you of squatting.

Get a Written and Signed Lease

While this is usually a good signifier of a legitimate landlord, a quick Google search can give anyone access to a multitude of different leases. Many states have very specific leases outlining different laws. Take the time to read the entire lease.

view-a-sample-MoveZen-property-management-rental lease

View a Sample MoveZen Property Management Lease Agreement

Our relatively standard and common lease is written by the Bar Association and does a good job of protecting both tenants and rental owners given the laws in our area

Rental Home Scammer, Beware!

Many of these pointers may be obvious but when your moving window shrinks or you’re trying to find the best rate, things do get missed. If you have questions about the market or are looking for a home in North Carolina, we would be happy to assist you. Our #1 goal is to always outperform not only the competition but ourselves. You’ll be able to find hundreds of 5 STAR REVIEWS just by Googling our name with your local city.

Property Management Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

1) Know the latest landlord-tenant laws [renter/tenant rights, landlord rights, and Fair Housing]

2) Decide if you will be renting yourself or hiring a property management company

3) Using real data, determine a sound rental rate for your market

4) Research how you will list your rental property online

5) Inspect the property and perform required maintenance

6) Take premier property photos and list the home

7) Schedule appointments and show the property

8) Secure a legally compliant & fair lease

9) Collect initial move-in payments

10) Oversee pre-move repair requests

11) Oversee move-in day, utility transfer, inevitable new user issues

Or, you could just hire us…

Renting out your home can be a very smart and lucrative decision when done properly. Determining up-front what costs and benefits to renting your home can be expected is crucial. Accurate pricing, knowing state and federal landlord laws, and understanding the future market trends are all pivotal in the success of your rental home.

The exact requirements can vary by state or municipality. Most areas do require a real estate license if you collect rent and deposits on someone else’s behalf. Simply put, your friend that used to work for an apartment complex cannot market your home, lease, or collect rental funds on your behalf unless licensed.

Without being partial, that’s really a preference question. However, here is our list of things to be on the lookout for in a great property manager:

Communication: Are your questions answer quickly, clearly, and kindly?

What do their property manager reviews have to say?

Has the rental process been explained clearly and do you agree with it?

Are their rental home listings clear and descriptive or rushed?

Property management company fees vary widely based on the type of service, season, and property management company you choose. Average monthly fees can be around 10% while some companies may charge a flat monthly rate

Being a landlord can be both fun and easy. With free property, management software available ( do-it-yourself landlords have never had it easier! However, the largest sacrifice to be a landlord is time, and stress. Advertising your rental home, processing applications, emergency maintenance calls, and the unfortunate eviction can quickly wipe out a huge amount of what you might save by passing on hiring tax-deductible superior property management services. That said, a poor rental management company can cause headaches of their own, so it’s a matter of finding a great one. If you do, they’re worth their weight in gold

According to RocketHomes.Com,“When you sell a home, that’s the extent of the money you will make on the property. But if you hold it as a rental, you could continue to earn money every month, realize tax advantages and, ideally, see appreciation.” We couldn’t have said it better ourselves! With the expanding real estate market, now is the perfect time to invest in rental property. The US government has built a system where the easiest and most consistent path to wealth is owning exceptionally managed rental homes

Yes! Property management fees, and even most maintenance items, are tax-deductible as they pertain to your rental property

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