We’ve all seen the ads of the beautiful home with an amazing price and wondered if it’s too good to be true. It’s good to be weary! Learning the signs of rental scams is important for anyone searching for a new place to live.
Hemlane strives to protect all owners and tenants from these scammers and has many levels of security in place. It’s good for tenants to be on the lookout no matter where they search. These are the easiest ways to tell if a rental ad is legitimate:
Is it too good to be true?
Looking at the listing, does it seem a little questionable? Is the rent lower than all the other surrounding rentals? Do the photos look too good to be true? Scammers often make their offers look more attractive by offering a lot for a little or offering exciting features to get your attention. Trust your gut and always ask, “is this realistic?”
Pushy, distant owners
If an owner or property manager is pressuring you to move too quickly, sends unreasonable requests, writes in poor English with redundant grammar and spelling errors, or are never able to show you the property, there is a chance they could be fraudulent. Always take precaution and investigate the property and owner if you are feeling uncomfortable and never send any money until you are sure the person is who they claim to be.
Always walk through the property before sending money
We highly recommend viewing the property in person and having a fully executed lease in place before sending any money. Scammers will often post fake photos in hopes you will put money down before even seeing the property in person. If you are moving to a new city and are unable to view the property it’s always wise to search landlord and property records. Most areas in the US have public databases where you can search the county and address to verify ownership.
You can also have a friend visit the property on your behalf or ask a licensed agent to perform a viewing for you (and perhaps they'll FaceTime you into it).
If you are speaking with a property manager, ask them to provide documentation or information proving the landlord owns the property before making any payments. Legitimate landlords and property managers will have no issue providing this information and allowing you to view the rental before putting down a deposit.
Always pay through Hemlane
Hemlane offers safe and secure payments through your account to keep your money protected when it's a direct transfer. Hemlane's security team does extra due diligence for any property owner or manager using our payments platform. We will never ask a tenant to use another wire transfers. Scammers often ask for wire transfers as deposits or rent payments as they are irreversible. You should never pay using wire transfer and always have confidence before sending money.
If you believe there is a fraudulent (scam) listing on Hemlane, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org with the property address and URL.