Rental housing scams in Portland are on the rise again as scammers from Nigeria and other parts of the country have been targeting unsuspecting renters with rentals that are priced below market rates.
Sadly, most people who have been scammed don’t realize that they’ve fallen for a rental scam until it’s too late.
Thankfully, there are several things that renters can do to avoid Portland Rental Housing Scams including the following:
Always Talk With A Landlord, Or Property Manager, Before Viewing A Rental Property
Even though rental property tours can be booked virtually in 2021, you should always talk with a landlord, or property manager, before viewing a rental property.
This is important because, some scammers try to do business over Craigslist and email without actually talking to prospective tenants. If this happens to you, it’s a surefire sign that you’re communicating with a scammer and it’s time to step away from the conversation before you lose money.
Never Send Money Online Via Non-Secure Or Trustworthy Methods
In 2021, most Portland landlords, or property managers use online tools like AppFolio to collect the rent and will not collect rent by any other method.
If an owner, or property manager asks you to send them the rent via PayPal, money or another method, this is a clear sign that it’s probably a scam and should be avoided at all costs.
Sign A Written Lease
Another important thing to do when viewing a rental property is to sign a written lease. This is a vital step in the process of viewing a rental property because without a lease, you don’t know what your actual rights are as a tenant.
8. Beware Of The Middleman Scam
The middleman scam is one of the most common schemes out there. Especially on websites like Craigslist and other platforms with classifieds.
So you ran into this juicy ad of a place that looks amazing and the price looks reasonable. You call there and this person tells you that he/she is the one who handles or manages this place for the real owners.
Typically, the place is real, but they don’t really have access to it. They find this place on the other real-estate platform, takes the pictures and description and place all this info into the Craigslist ad. They insist on collecting rental payment, security deposit and other payments that can be gathered in the first place and then they simply run away with your money.
Rental frauds on Craigslist are living there like in heaven. According to the study called ‘Understanding Craigslist Rental Scams’, in total there were about 29K scam listings detected over the 20 cities they monitored, within a period of 141 days. This is a hell of a number, so try to avoid the middleman services from shady ‘managers.
9. Do Your Research
The best thing about the internet is that it always remembers and it always has places where people give their feedbacks on anyone and anything.
So, prior to renting a place from someone, make sure you do your homework and run basic research on the internet, google the landlord: e-mails, names, property address, etc.
10. Check The Current Market Rates
Run research on the median rental price in the area you’re trying to rent a place in. This should give you a basic understanding of what kind of price is reasonable for the particular place you’re looking at.
Having this knowledge will ensure that any ad with a weirdly low price will look suspicious to you (and it should, the market is hot).
Contact Rent Portland Homes
For more tips on how to avoid rental market scams, or to speak with us about our property management services, contact us today by clicking here to connect with us online.