Friday, December 1, 2023

Protecting Your Rental Property: Common Tenant Scams to Watch Out For


As a homeowner looking to rent out your property for extra income, finding a trustworthy tenant is crucial. You want someone who pays rent on time, takes good care of your property, and respects the rental agreement. Unfortunately, not all tenants meet these criteria, and some engage in scams. In this guide, we’ll explore common tenant scams and how to avoid them.

Fake Tenant Profiles:

Some applicants may provide false information in their rental applications, making it challenging to identify fraud.

How to Avoid: For someone who has acquired a new property in the smart city of Lahore or a similar neighborhood,  exercise caution by verifying references through necessary phone calls. Verify references by contacting previous landlords and confirming the identity and credit scores of all tenants. Consider adding a clause to the lease allowing termination for false information.

Bogus Credit Details:

Tenant financial stability is essential, so credit reports are often requested. Scammers can manipulate these documents.

How to Avoid: Request a credit report and ensure account balances match up. Legitimate tenants won’t hesitate to provide this information.

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False Employment Information:

Applicants might lie about their jobs, job descriptions, tenure, or salaries.

How to Avoid: Request pay stubs, which are difficult to falsify. Check for rounded numbers, professionalism, and accuracy in the stubs. Verify employment references.

Fake Former Landlord References:

Some applicants provide incorrect information about previous landlords, making it challenging to reach them.

How to Avoid: Verify the rental property address, request utility bills from the previous property, confirm reference names and numbers, and assess the response when contacting references.

Overly Enthusiastic Payments:

Scammers may offer to pay the deposit in advance or send more than the agreed amount, asking for a refund later.

How to Avoid: Be cautious with advance payments. Wait for checks to clear before using any deposit funds. Wire transfers are more secure than checks.

Subletting Scam:

A subletting scam happens when someone you rent your property to secretly rents it to others without telling you. This can bring in people you don’t approve of and break the rental rules.

How to Avoid: To stop subletting scams, make sure your rental agreement says subletting needs your permission. Also, check the property regularly to make sure everyone is following the rules in the agreement.

Maintenance Trick:

Sometimes, tenants might use fake maintenance requests to get inside your property without raising any alarms. They could pretend that there’s an urgent issue, like a leak or a broken appliance, just to get in. Once inside, they might cause damage or steal things.

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How to Avoid: To stay safe from this kind of scam, make sure you have clear rules for how maintenance requests should be made and always double-check if the request is genuine before letting anyone inside.

Key Scam:

Some dishonest people act like they want to rent your place and ask for an extra key while checking it out. They promise to give it back later, but once they have it, they can sneak in without your permission, possibly causing problems or staying there without your knowledge.

How to Avoid: To keep your rental property safe, make sure to carefully check out people who want to rent from you, and don’t give them extra keys when they come to see the place.

Overpayment Alert:

In the overpayment scam, someone who wants to rent from you sends you a check or money order for more money than you agreed upon for the security deposit and first month’s rent. They then ask you to give back the extra money or send it to someone else. But later, you find out that the initial payment they made was fake or didn’t go through, and you end up losing money.

How to Avoid: To avoid falling for this scam, always make sure that the payments you receive are for the right amounts and have gone through your bank before you give any money back

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For landlords, ensuring the reliability of tenants is crucial. Referrals from trusted sources are the best way to minimize the risk of encountering fraudulent cases. By staying vigilant and following these tips, you can protect your rental property and avoid falling victim to common tenant scams.

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