While technology has provided wonderful tools and resources for landlords and property managers, it has also increased the ability of dishonest people to create and scams and tricks. Protecting your home from tenant scams is essential.
Make sure you know who you’re talking to when a potential tenant inquires about your home. Get a name, collect contact information and ask a few pre-screening questions. If you find you are talking to someone who is not local, find out where they are and why they are interested in renting your property. Gather as much information as you can and then verify everything. Ask for identification when you meet the person to show the property. If you’re talking to someone from overseas who wants to rent your property because he’s moving to Phoenix for a job, ask for proof of that job offer. You must be vigilant. You also must gather information on every person who will be living in your property. The person who fills out your application and signs your lease must be the same person who moves in.
Protect Your Own Identity
Never share any of your own personal information with someone you have not met. Do not send additional photos of your property to someone just because they ask. One of the most common scams online right now is this: people will steal the pictures you have posted or shared of your property and then list it at a price that’s much lower than what you’re asking. They’ll collect a security deposit from people who think they are renting your property but have not seen it, and then both you and that potential tenant are victimized.
Trust Your Instincts
If something seems off, it probably is. Be wary of tenants who show up wanting to pay for a full year in advance or who have long complicated stories of why they were tossed out of their last rental home. If an applicant cannot prove a current address or a source of income, you don’t want to rent to that person and you don’t want to deal with him anymore in any capacity. Verify and document every interaction you have with potential tenants.
No one likes to live in suspicion or be forever fearful of cheats and scams. However, identity theft is a huge problem and it’s something you need to protect yourself and your property against. Be on high alert, and if you have any questions or need any help, contact us at PRS Property Management.