Rental listing scams are on the rise in the Portland Oregon area and many owners are unaware that their rental properties have become part of the scams.
Thankfully, the police have been able to help stop many of these scams from occurring but there are some that do fall through the cracks and the end result is either the landlord or the tenant loses money.
How Do Rental Listing Scams Work?
Rental listing scams are most often found on Craigslist because that’s where most landlords list their rental properties.
These listing will look exactly like a normal rental listing and contain photos of the house which are usually sourced from websites like Zillow and Reltor.com along with information about the home and general area.
The big difference between a rental listing scam and a legitimate rental listing is that the scam listing will typically have a rent that’s much lower than other comparable properties in the same area.
In today’s rental market, any property that’s $200-$500 per month less than other comparable rental properties is certainly going to be noticeable and will attract a lot of attention from tenants who area eager to rent that property.
Sadly, cheap rent is the hook that grabs the attention of prospective renters as they are drawn into a conversation with the ‘owner’ of the property.
Cheap rent is usually the first sign that it’s a rental scam. The next sign is the landlord who usually tells the prospective renter that they are out of state (usually doing mission work in another country) and they will encourage the prospective renter to check out the property themselves.
Tenants who are drawn in by the prospect of cheap rent will visit the property in person and respond to the scammer via the Craigslist ad letting them know that they are interested in the property. Once this happens, the scammer will ask the renter to wire them the deposit for the property and the scammer will promise to mail them the keys.
Once the money is wired or sent via a service like PayPal, the scammer will nor be heard from again and the renter will come under the realization that they’ve been scammed.
How Owners Can Protect Their Properties From Scams
Owner can protect their rental properties from scams first and foremost by hiring a professional property management company like Rent Portland Homes.
Our company saves owners the time and hassle of managing their rental properties themselves and they can have confidence that their properties will be rented by professionals who have the right security protocols in place to safely rent their properties.
If an owner doesn’t want to hire a property management company, they can protect their rental property from becoming part of a rental scam simply by doing the following:
- Check Craigslist rentals on a weekly basis for fake rental listings which may contain photos of their rental properties.
- Notify the Police department if fake rental listings are found.
- Flag fake rental listings on Craigslist.
- Use Rently to qualify tenants if the owner is not able to meet with them in person.
- Utilize Google alerts to create an alert for your rental property address so you will be notified if it is listed online.
Contact Rent Portland Homes – Professionals
To learn more about the latest rental scams in Portland Oregon, or to speak with us about our property management services, contact us today by clicking here.