8 Important Things to Avoid When Renting an Apartment Online
Although many of us know how to rent an apartment online, they do it wrong. Scammers prey on your lack of knowledge and urgency, tricking you out of your money. With renting taking up most of your budget, it’s important to be extra careful. We will help you rent an apartment securely, avoiding the tricks of scammers.
How to avoid online scams when renting apartments?
When you rent a home, you need to be careful. This includes understanding common scams and protecting your online presence. By the way, if you use a VPN, you can significantly improve your security. It will also provide access to any servers. For example, using Hulu VPN, you can unblock the entire library of the service, even in countries where it is blocked. This will also come in handy when accessing your bank accounts, which may otherwise be blocked due to access from another country.
1. Choose too attractive offers
Want to avoid falling victim to apartment rental scams? Use common sense when searching for deals online, especially if something seems too good to be true. Research the average prices of apartments in the areas you’re interested in to stay ahead of potential scammers. A quick Google search can provide valuable insight into the neighbourhood and help you avoid fraudulent listings. Don’t be fooled by fake ads offering unbelievably low prices in desirable locations like Midtown Manhattan – remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it likely is. Stay vigilant and informed to find your perfect apartment without getting scammed.
2. Opt-out of personal meetings and showing of accommodation
Imagine asking a “landlord” to show you a rental property they claim to own. If they refuse or make excuses, such as being out of town or not having a property manager, be wary. It’s likely they don’t have access to the property. Instead, suggest a new visitation date or request a video chat with current tenants. Another option is to ask the landlord to inform the tenants of your visit. Stay safe and don’t let scammers take advantage of you.
3. Passing up renter’s insurance
To ensure the safety of your valuables, it’s crucial to have a renter’s insurance policy even if your landlord has insurance on the property itself. It’s important to note that your possessions won’t be covered under your landlord’s insurance if they get damaged or stolen. Whether it’s due to fire, flood, broken pipes, sewer backup, or theft, you’ll need to invest in a separate renter’s insurance policy. Don’t worry, though – renter’s insurance is typically affordable and can cost only a few hundred dollars annually.
4. Ignoring the neighbourhood
When searching for an apartment, it’s important to not rush into a decision without considering the surrounding neighborhood. Take the time to visit the area at different times of the day to ensure a peaceful environment. It’s also crucial to research the crime rate using websites such as crimereports.com and mylocalcrime.com, as well as investigate the quality of nearby schools on greatschools.org. Don’t overlook these important factors in your search for a safe and comfortable living space.
5. Negligence when signing a contract
Beware of crafty scammers who may go to great lengths, even sending you a fake rental agreement, to trick you into giving them money. Be wary of certain red flags, such as being pressured to pay before signing the contract, an incorrect or missing rental address, incomplete or incorrect personal information from the landlord, no request for typical documents like bank statements, evading questions, or getting agitated quickly, or asking for an unusually high deposit which may violate local laws. If any of these warning signs show up, do not send any money or sign anything. Stay vigilant!
6. Lack of checks on you as a tenant
Beware of scammers who may not ask for the standard documents needed when renting a property. These documents can vary depending on the country but typically include photo identification, employment or study proof, bank statements or other income proof, and a guarantor statement if you have no income. If someone doesn’t want to screen you, don’t trust them. On the other hand, if they demand your documents too quickly, they may be attempting identity theft. To ensure your safety, ask what documents they need and why. If they react negatively or become irritated, it’s likely a scammer. Stay alert and vigilant to avoid falling for a scam.
7. Will ask for money upfront or cash payment
Did you know that wiring money to a stranger in a foreign country can be dangerous? Many people of all ages and backgrounds fall for these scams. If your “landlord” is pressing you to wire money instead of using a secure payment method, it’s a red flag. The same goes for cash or Bitcoin payments, which are untraceable. In general, when you make payments online, always use the VPN extension. You can even use a free trial, most importantly – from a trusted developer. You can check here if you are interested in a good VPN option. This will protect your funds from data theft and interception. You must always remember that once scammers have your money, it’s unlikely you’ll ever get it back.
8. Fraudsters will rush to pay
Beware of scammers who pressure you to make immediate payments by inventing fake tenants who are interested in the same property. They may even claim to prefer you over the other tenants if you pay up-front. However, this behaviour is a major red flag that you’re dealing with a scammer. Stay alert and protect yourself from these fraudulent schemes. Beware of scammers who pressure you to make immediate payments by inventing fake tenants who are interested in the same property. They may even claim to prefer you over the other tenants if you pay up-front. However, this behaviour is a major red flag that you’re dealing with a scammer. Stay alert and protect yourself from these fraudulent schemes.
Renting an apartment can be a great experience, but it can also be filled with pitfalls if you’re not careful. Be sure to do your due diligence when searching for apartments and be on guard against scammers. Research the neighbourhood, review all documents carefully, don’t wire money or make cash payments, and know your rights as a tenant. All this will help you avoid scammers that exist in all countries of the world.