1. Inconsistencies In The Listing
Listings are how Los Angeles Property Management companies attract potential tenants to the property. A scammer is going to try to create a listing that is going to attract as many applicants it can, they will include many amenities as possible and are going to offer an unbelievable deal on rent and the deposit. If there’s an unsurtancy about how much rent really is, using a site like rentometer.com will help clear things up. Make sure to read the listing carefully and contact the landlord or even the Property Manager if there’s any questions.
If the Los Angeles Property Management company contains numerous spelling errors, this could raise concerns. Listing extremely low rent, could cause concerns too especially if it’s lower than average. Requiring little or no deposit, no tenant screening and the amenities listed are inconsistent with property photos. All of these raise a red flag, you shouldn’t consider moving into any type of property when everything seems to good to be true.
2. Check Out The Property
If a Los Angeles Property Management company allows you to put down a deposit or sign a lease before you look at the property for yourself, this should be a sign that business with this establishment maybe shouldn’t be made. If moving in from out of state, there are plenty of other ways to verify that this isn’t a fraudulent Los Angeles Property Management company. If you happen to know someone in the area, ask them to take a look at the property in your behalf. It would be even better to set up a video chat with the landlord or Property Manager to do a live virtual tour. Other red flags to look for are if the landlord or Property Manager won’t tell you the property address and also refusal for some type of property tour.
3. Meeting The Landlord/Property Manager
You should still take a meet and greet with the Los Angeles Property Management company before signing any documents or if your deciding to send money to them. A legitimate and professional landlord will more than likely want to meet the prospective tenant, also. Very often just requesting to meet will deter a scammer. To meet in person allows any potential tenant to get to know the landlord or Property Manager. If for whatever reason something feels off about the meeting, you’ll want to look into this a bit more thoroughly to make sure that they are indeed the property owner or they are authorized to actually rent out the property. A red flag to look for when doing this, is if the landlord or Property Manager is unwilling to meet face to face and also if the landlord/Property Manager can’t meet because they reside in a different state/country than the property they are renting out.
4. Getting It In Writing
A Los Angeles Property Management company that is legit is going to write a lease that allows not only the landlord/Property Manager and tenants to set clear responsibilities and expectations while living in the offered property. Even if the state you live in, or are going to live in, recognizes oral leases, it’s still a good idea to get something in writing just in case a disagreement happens. Red Flags: A verbal agreement only and the landlord/Property Manager refuses to sign a lease.
5. Do Not Deal In Cash
If a Los Angeles Property Management company accepts cash only, there is absolutely no way to track it or even getting it back if the landlord/Property Manager turns out he/she is a scammer. When using checks or cashier’s checks, this is going to require a bit more work but in the end they can be tracked. Red Flags to look for are if a landlord/Property Manager only takes cash or ask to wire money to them. Another thing to look for is if a landlord/Property Manager won’t give their name when asked who to make the check out to.
Keep In Mind
Red flags are just things to keep in mind. Just because the Property Management company or landlord lives out of state, it doesn’t necessarily mean they are running a fraudulent listing. Always take extra precautions to guard yourself when dealing with renting or even buying a property. Some landlord software is going to protect your personal information during screening process for the tenant. Make sure to research, trust your instincts, and always feel free to ask questions.
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