12 Signs of a Rental Scam You Should Be Aware of

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6. The Person Showing You the Home is Not the Owner

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Sometimes scammers claim to be helping someone else rent out their property. Unfortunately, the property is usually a vacation rental, a foreclosed home, or a home owned by someone else who happens to be out of town — in other words, the property was never actually for rent.

By the time the would-be renter figures this out, the scammer, along with the security deposit and first and last month’s rent, will be long gone.

At other times, the scammer can be a tenant of an apartment in which he or she is vacating. They pretend to be the landlord and ask for the security deposit to secure the apartment before someone else does. Once they get your money, they cut off all communication with you and move to another location as quickly as they possibly can.

5. The Lease Isn’t Available

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There is something you need to know before renting a home: a lease is ALWAYS required when renting any property — even in the case of short-term rentals. That’s because the lease not only protects you, the renter, it also protects the landlord.

Therefore, if a real estate agent does not have a lease for you to sign, says there’s no time to review the lease with a lawyer, or just simply won’t make the lease available to you, you’re being scammed.