The reliance on e-commerce, social media and the Internet has given rise to con artists looking to scam unsuspecting victims out of money online. One area where scammers have found success is with those on the hunt for a property rental. But, renters are not the only victims of these scams. As a property owner, it’s important to safeguard your property against rental property scams in order to avoid misrepresentation of your property online.
Real Property Management East San Gabriel Valley has been receiving many calls on properties that we manage in Pasadena and Glendale. With the current “hot” market specifically in the Pasadena area many scams are being ran on craigslist. If you see any property on craigslist please ask them to verify ownership of the property or a real estate license number. Ask for a business card if you are meeting an owners representative at a property. You can also try using some of our tips shared below.
How Rental Scamming Works
There are several different forms of rental scamming, but often a scammer will copy information about a legitimate house or apartment for rent from Craigslist, Trulia or another popular online directory and create a new listing for the house with the rental amount significantly lower.
When a prospective tenant contacts the scammer, they claim to be out-of-town and unable to show the property or meet in person. They often appear desperate to rent the place and use an excuse to explain the extremely low rent.
Next, the scammer asks the prospective tenant to fill out an application. After “approving” the application, the tenant is asked to pay the damage deposit and first month’s rent. The “owner” promises to send the keys upon receipt of the money. As you might have guessed, the check is cashed and no keys are ever delivered. Sometimes tenants have been in properties for several months and reach out to us and say someone came by asking them for keys because they mailed someone else money. Never send money in the mail to someone who is not located near the property.
How Real Property Management East San Gabriel Valley Protects Your Property
• Watermark Photos-Real Property Management East San Gabriel Valley watermarks property photos before they are posted online to prevent scammers from posting the photo and falsely promoting the property as their own. Signage from Real Property Management East San Gabriel Valley at the physical property also reassures prospective renters that the property is leased and managed by a reputable company. Sometimes signs at larger HOA’s in Pasadena or Glendale don’t allow signage however.
• Scan Online Listings– Real Property Management East San Gabriel Valley scans its property listings online to aid in preventing impostor landlords from illegally renting out properties. In addition, for your own peace of mind you can set up a “Google Alert” for your rental property address to receive notifications when that address is posted online.
• Online Brand Presence-Linking online rental listings directly to Real Property Management East San Gabriel Valley’s website helps put potential renters at ease and verifies the authenticity of a property. Scam artists typically don’t take the time to make professional webpages or create fake property management businesses online.
Fortunately, due to our national brand presence and strength and due to our systems and processes, Real Property Management East San Gabriel Valley has had minimal impact from scams nationwide. If you ever suspect foul play by a scammer, however, contact us right away and we’ll take immediate action to safeguard your property. With many properties in Pasadena renting within a week of being on the market. We have met many prospective tenants who have wanted to rent from us because of how many scam listings they find all over Pasadena and are relieved to know they can trust Real Property Management East San Gabriel Valley.
We are pledged to the letter and spirit of U.S. policy for the achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the Nation. See Equal Housing Opportunity Statement for more information.