Home Rental Frauds and Scams
Here's why you need to check your landlord!
Landlord fraud encompasses a variety of schemes in which a tenant or potential tenant could lose money without getting the promised rental property in return. These schemes include the following:
- A recent trend that has been widely reported has exposed con men locating and breaking into abandoned houses, advertising and showing properties to potential renters, and collecting a security deposit and one or more months rent. Any lease contract provided to the tenant proves to be a worthless, fraudulent document. The con man may run this fraud scam on multiple victims. Con artists have even been seen setting up fake property management company websites for this purpose, as well as using the information gained from a lease application to commit identity theft against an unsuspecting victim.
- A property owner nearing foreclosure rents his or her property to an unsuspecting tenant, collects a security deposit and rent, but does not use those funds to pay the mortgage. The property goes into foreclosure and the tenant may face eviction, along with the likely loss of their full security deposit. Of course, they will also incur additional moving costs.
- A landlord collects personal, financial and confidential information from a tenant as part of the legitimate rental application process, and then uses that information to commit identity theft and apply for credit using the tenant’s identity.
- A renter living in a property, who is about to move out or be evicted, poses as the property owner in order to collect upfront rent and security deposits, possibly from multiple victims, providing only a worthless, invalid lease agreement in return.