Even if you’ve rented an apartment before, you can still fall subject to rental scams and fraud. Having even basic knowledge of the technique’s scammers use will protect you when you’re on the hunt for your next home. We’ve prepared the ultimate list of tips to help you spot a rental scammer while finding your perfect apartment in Saratoga Springs.
Six Tips to Avoid Rental Scams and Fraud
- Do Your Research
Beyond looking at the basics (floor plans, location, price), do some more extensive research. Google the landlord or rental company, emails, names of any staff members, and property addresses.
You should reverse image search a few of the pictures associated with the listing. Take the picture and run the search by the image to find the same or similar ones. Sometimes you’ll find the place listed in another city or country – scammers aren’t smart enough to modify the photos.
- Read Reviews
Along the same lines, make sure you read reviews about the apartments you’re considering. Check Google, Facebook, Apartment Ratings, and other popular websites to read what current and past residents have to say. Take note of any recurring aspects in reviews, whether they’re good or bad. Do people consistently mention the great location or amenities? Or is an issue with thin walls consistently brought up? These are all things you’ll want to consider when making your decision.
- Are they Active on Social Media?
If you’re researching an apartment community, check to see if the community is active on social media. A social media presence is a sign that the community cares about its residents and wants to interact with them. Bonus points if they post about resident events and activities happening in the area!
- Work with a Reputable Management Company
Working with a reputable management company is imperative to avoid rental scams. In addition to researching the property you’re interested in, research the property management company itself. Visit their website and look for contact information, areas the management company serves, services they provide, and testimonials from satisfied property owners. If you’re able to find this information you’re in good hands.
- Take a Tour
Always take a tour of any property you’re considering renting. Pictures online can be cropped, edited, and photoshopped to hide the less than appealing elements of an apartment. While on the tour, make sure to ask detailed questions about the apartment and take your own pictures. Open doors, inspect the walls, and take note of anything that seems out of place. If you’re unable to tour the place yourself, ask a friend or family member if they will go for you. Any property manager or landlord who is serious about renting out an apartment will have no hesitations about scheduling a tour.
- Sign a Written Lease
The only lease you should sign is a written one. Verbal agreements have no way of being traced, and should something happen, a court of law cannot use a verbal agreement as evidence. You and the property manager should sign the lease contract. You should also ensure that you receive a copy of the signed contract.
Renting an Apartment in Saratoga Springs
Knowing how to avoid rental scams will help you find the perfect home with little hassle. For modern apartments in convenient locations throughout Saratoga Springs, check out our three properties. The Grove and The Washington offer stunning apartments with luxurious amenities and features. Take a tour and find your new home in Saratoga today!