I have been working with a few rental clients this winter and we have run into a few real estate rental scams here in Cincinnati. I am sure these are not isolated to our area, but I did want share some tips on how to avoid being taken advantage of when looking for a rental home or condo.
How To Avoid a Cincinnati Real Estate Rental Scams
- Work with a Realtor! Realtors in Cincinnati can and will help you find a rental home. Since we are licensed and experienced we have legal standards to uphold and are familiar with the property rental process.
- Use the Multiple Listing Service. It is the only way to be 100% certain the home is legitimately for rent because those properties are put there by licensed Realtors.
- Be cautious with Craigslist and other free forums. We have seen and called on properties listed for rent that were owned and occupied by unsuspecting home owners.
- If you call on a rental and the person can not give exact details get suspicious. Landlords and rental agents should know almost everything about the home they are renting. Thinks like the square footage, estimated utilities, and the HOUSE ADDRESS! If you call and they use vague description when answering questions the’re probably not the landlords.
- Renting out property in Ohio requires legal authority. The person renting out the property has to be the property owner, an employee of the property owner (apartment complex leasing agents), or have a legal agreement to rent out the property for the owner (Realtor or leasing agent). If the person you speak with refers to the owner as ‘this guy I know’ or ‘a friend of my cousin who asked me for a favor’ move on!
- If you go to meet the landlord and they ‘can’t get you in right now’ but are willing to take a deposit and a completed application – walk away quickly. Good chance they are not legitimate and are just trying to get a check from you.
If you are curious how these criminals are doing this, and the value that they get, you will want to check out my upcoming blog posts. I will talk about how these real estate scams work and how the criminals are making a profit.