Preventing Real Estate Scams: Demand A Written Lease

With the high rate of scams in the real estate industry, a tenant should always apply preventive measures so as mitigate the chances of becoming a victim. It’s indeed a bitter experience to lose all your money to a scammer. To avoid this, never do a transaction without demanding for a written lease.  A written lease is very critical in any transaction done in real estate industry. This is because it can be used for future reference in case of any problem between a tenant and a Landlord.

Check out this video for some of the common rental scams


Though Oral leases are still valid in some states such as Illinois, sometimes they turn to being are problematic in several ways.  Under such situations, the tenant can easily lose his security deposit since there is no prove to show that he paid the amount.  If your Landlord insists on a month-to-month lease, that is okay, but you need to demand on the written lease so as to prevent scam.  Consequently, the written lease lays out the rights and responsibilities attached to each party. Therefore, the tenant will be able to clearly understand his or her rights and responsibility in the rented apartment. On that note, you will not be conned by the Landlord.

Additionally, a tenant should also demand a copy of the lease signed by the landlord.  You don’t have to allow the landlord to retain both copies.  In most cases, the landlord will give an unsigned lease copy to sign then ask you to send them back to him for signature, but they never return fully executed copy to the tenant.  In that case, you need to follow up and demand your duly signed copy.  Nevertheless, ensure the landlord has already signed the copy before picking it. Some landlords are scammers, and they can use any method to fraud his tenants.

Ideally, the tenant and landlord should sign the lease in the physical presence of each other.  The landlord should come with an original and duplicate lease copy so that after signing each can walk away with a copy. However, that is opposite with most of the landlord with evil motives.  It is for you to learn the intention of your landlord so as to prevent being conned.

If you need to prevent yourself from being a victim of the money scam, then you should carefully read and understand the above tips. This article will help you to avoid the possible scams by demanding for written lease from the landlord.

How Do Rental Scams Work?

You need to be more vigilant when transacting in real estate. You must research extensively and educate yourself on the possible rental scams that exist in the Real Estate industry. Consequently, you need to be more careful when signing any document either for selling or buying an apartment. There are numerous Scams that you may experience and end up losing a huge amount of cash. To avoid this loss, you need to read and understand how the rental Scams works.

Here is a video related to “How Do Rental Scams Work?”

Is there any person asking you to send money via Prepaid Visa card, Western Union, or Moneygram? Found a deal which is so good and profitable to turn down? Has the owner of the property moved to another apartment and cannot show you the transacted property? These are some of the possible Scams used to con or defraud person into giving up personal information or wiring money.

The technology advancement has enhanced the issue of Scam in the Real Estate. The Scammers uses various methods as well as the tools to post fraudulent listing scams on different internet sites.  The commonly used method includes: First, manually copying the already existing list of available properties and post them in a rental listing with new prices. Second, the Scammers may also take already existing list and re-post is a new rental listing in a different site for re-sale. Third, the Scammers tend to use the listing management tools as well as syndicating the scam across a number of internet sites. In this case, you may find a similar rental property being advertised at several sites under the same user.  Additionally, the similar property may possess different price quotes. If you face such cases, you should know that a scam and avoid it.

Nevertheless, the scammer usually asks a few things or direct questions. Some of the few things that a Scammer will ask includes; urgency, transfer of money through a prepaid Visa, Moneygram or the Western Union, and the personal information.  In most cases, the Scammers do not ask the other party to sign any legal document, and if they ask, the document is not genuine or original.  They tend to use forged papers to avoid arrest.  Normally, the Real Estate transactions are supported by a legal and genuine document for future reference in case of any arising problem with the contact. Moreover, the Scammer conducts their transaction in a hurry without considering crucial supporting documents like Title deeds.

To avoid the possible scams, you should learn the above-highlighted signs of a scam. Be vigilant and more careful not to fall into the trap. Do thorough research on the targeted property before commencing transaction process.


Three Most Experienced Real Estate Scams

The investment scams abound massively at all levels of the real estate market.  The agent may embezzle millions of money while the contractor may exploit the property owner millions of dollars.  Therefore, you should protect yourself through the application of various measures of legwork and vigilance. Consequently, you should exercise common sense as well as the skepticism. Here are three most experienced real estate scams.

1. Online rental scam

You may find a rental property being advertised online through classified sites such as the Kijiji and Craigslist.  The ads may use the photos and information clearly describing the property that has already been “scraped” or withdrawn from the legitimate ads like those on the MLS. Consequently, the scammer may impersonate the agent, property manager, or the landlord and then respond to the calls and emails from prospective tenants. The scammer may propose to meet the renter of the property site so as to exchange the house keys, collect rental deposits, as well as


2. Title scam

This is one of the devastating scams for property owners.  It usually begins with identity theft. In most cases, the scammer may present false documents so as to pose as the legal owner of the property. He may use forged documents to transfer the property ownership from the legal owner to the buyer.  Additionally, the scammer may use the forged documents to secure the mortgage against the property. Immediately after receiving the money, the scammer leaves the owner on the hook for paying for the debt.  These forms of scams are highly experienced in homes or houses that are free and clear of the mortgage.  The old homes are likely to be possessed by the old people who are less aware of the effective measures to guard the property against theft.

It is highly advisable for the buyer to first inspect the property before doing the transaction. The “Title insurance” is considered as the best measure of protection against Title scam.  The title insurance also guards the property owner from the existing liens more so, against a property’s title, encroachment issues, and errors in public records and surveys.  Such liens include unpaid taxes, unpaid debts from utilities and mortgages.

3. Home-equity and Foreclosure scam

The scammers may take advantages of the property owners who run short on funds for various liabilities such as the mortgage payments.  The Foreclosure scams occur when the property owner experiences financial difficulties especially in making mortgage payments. The scammer approaches the owner and offers to give a loan cover expenses as well as consolidating any pending loan in exchange for the upfront fee.  Furthermore, the scammer may convince the owner to sign an agreement to transfer legal property title.  Immediately after the transfer is completed, the scammer may ignore all bills and taxes of the owner and remortgage and absconds the property leaving the owner without a house but still in debt.

signing a tenancy agreement. The victims will realize that were conned when they show up at the property site just to discover that the apartment is already occupied.

How To Spot And Avoid Rental Scam

If you are sensitive and careful in the Real Estate industry, you can easily spot and avoid the rental scams. Try to be vigilant in protecting your personal information. Additionally, you should possess a higher standard of excellence particularly in eliminating frauds.  Be able to detect the possible scams even before they are displayed.


The easiest sign to spot and identify a rental scam is when someone asks you to send the money via Prepaid Visa card, Moneygram, or the Western Union. Normally, the Scammers requests for a deposit even before you physically see the property. To avoid this scam, don’t send cash for whatever reason until you see the property and sign for legal transfer documents.

Consequently, you can spot the rental scam when someone rents you a property, and the owner is out of the country in a military service, job mission or any other genuine mission. In that case, Scammer may take advantage of the owner’s absentia to fraud you money.  Always, insist on meeting with either the property landlord or agent. If the landlord or agent can’t physically meet you, then it is possibly a rental scam, and you should avoid it by turning down the offer.  Never sign any rental agreement without either your friend or a family member.

You can also detect a rental scam based on the Emails sent. In most cases, the emails sent by the scammers are littered with typos and grammatical mistakes. Be careful and effectively analyze the email messages sent to you by someone. If the message is difficult to read, includes a sad story, and lengthy, there is a possibility it’s a scam. Normally, the genuine email messages are professionally composed and written by professionals.

Before signing the transfer document, you should research extensively on the Landlord or the Agent. You can easily get the information on the landlord and agent on Google.  The landlord or agent might turn out to a scammer and therefore, someone else had posted a report relating to these individuals. Don’t just rush to complete the deal without doing thorough research on the individuals.

Be sensitive in filling out the application form. Don’t just sign everything presented to you. Demand on seeing the physical property before filling the document. Though some Real Estate agencies may offer legitimate and genuine application forms through the property’s website, do not submit it with personal information until you verify the property existence.

At any given time, never send money without securing a lease as well as confirming that the property manager has the capacity and legal rights to rent the property. Ensure you are dealing with the right person as far as the property renting is concerned.