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There are tons of things to consider when you're on the hunt for a new rental property, whether that's available outdoor space, what furniture's included, or how close to your workplace the property is located.
One thing that's all too commonly overlooked is whether the rental property is actually legitimate.
Rental property listing scams aim to steal money from genuine tenants by asking you to pay a considerable sum upfront disguised as a deposit or fee while failing to show you the actual property.
With fake landlords scamming over 43% of American renters out of anywhere between $500 and $2,000 (costing Brits across the pond more than £22m since 2014), it's never been more important to be vigilant when house-hunting.
Luckily, we've collated some dos and don'ts to help you find your perfect (legitimate!) rental property and avoid falling for scams.
If you're part of the 44 million people who rent from a private landlord every year, getting bang for your buck is crucial - as is spotting scams.
As a rule of thumb, nine times out of 10, if a property seems too good to be true, it is.
Just because images or even contact details accompany a property advert, it doesn't mean it's legitimate.
The fraudster will typically contact victims online about the property and ask for a fee or deposit to book the viewing - which will likely never materialize.
They might even give legitimate reasons, such as bad experiences with past tenants or too many people canceling viewings without notice.
You should never have to pay just to view a property, and a 'landlord' piling on the pressure to transfer a viewing fee is a serious red flag.
Be wary of landlords who don't screen you, too.
Legitimate landlords will check tenants for things such as your right to live in the US. Not performing any checks is a cause for concern.
To make your life even easier when figuring out whether a rental opportunity is legitimate, here's a handy checklist you can follow to ensure everything is as it should be!
And there we have it!
While this can feel like a lot to think about, it's more a case of keeping your wits about you and looking for anything that doesn't feel right. If your gut instinct tells you something is up, don't ignore it.
You could end up being scammed thousands of dollars in the process.
Finding the perfect property should be an exciting experience, so as well as looking out for scams, list your property priorities and search for homes that match them.
Then you'll be able to truly enjoy starting this next chapter of your life!
Create your account for free and a Marble representative will walk you through everything.