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Avoiding Misrepresentation During Your Apartment Search

April 25, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 143

Have you ever done an apartment search on Craigslist? Craigslist is certainly a helpful resource to find apartments for rent, but is a haven for criminals that are out to get your money, and steal your identity. One of the fraudulent practices that I've come across personally certainly took me by surprise. You may not be aware, but there are many so-called "landlords" or "property owners" out there that are misrepresenting themselves in order to collect your private information, or money. I've outlined a couple of situations that you should avoid at all costs to protect your identity, and to save potentially thousands of dollars from be ripped off of you.

Potential Fraudulent Activity By So-Called Landlords:

A landlord will post a rental property on a popular apartment search engine with attractive "exterior" photos... Exterior photos being the key words in this sentence. If interior photos are not provided, it could be that this so-called landlord does not even have access to the property. In this same situation, when you contact the landlord to view the property, he/she will tell you to drive over to the property, take a look at the exterior of the rental, and then fill out the attached application if you're interested in renting the apartment, condo, or home. The landlord won't be interested in meeting you (which is a red flag because a serious property owner wants to know who his/her renters are) but is interested in collecting a deposit right away. When this is the case, he/she is either collecting numerous deposits from numerous candidates, he/she is stealing your identity using the information you provided on your application, or in some cases both.

To avoid this type of fraudulent activity during your initial apartment search, it's essential that you ask to meet the landlord, and to also view the apartment, condo, or home personally with the landlord you're renting from. It's important to also ask many specific questions about the property, ones that only a serious landlord would have the answers to. Ask how old the property is, then when it was built, because if the landlord is telling the truth, both of the dates in his answer will line up correctly. Also, ask questions about the plumbing, about the cabinetry, about the flooring, and anything else you can think of. If you get an uncomfortable feeling during any time, then you can always take a day or two to think about it before jumping into anything.

It's important to not rush into anything, and take your initial apartment search seriously, because those who rush, or are in a big hurry, are much more susceptible to being stolen from.

I've worked in the property management industry for 3 1/2 years, and have also been a renter myself. I've learned all the tips and tricks necessary to ensure the best outcome while doing the initial apartment search, as well as what to do when you've found apartments for rent that you'd like to potentially move into.

Source: EzineArticles
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