Apartment hunting can be hard as we all know but it can be made harder by people trying to scam us out of our money. Here are seven tips on how to avoid this happening and make your wallet a lot more happy.
1. Talk with current or past tenants.
Probably one of the better ways to check if someone is being legit is through is other human experience. We as humans learn through observing and learn from past experience, though it is mostly personal it doesn’t have to be. This is a good idea to do even if you aren’t suspicious just to make sure you are getting the highest satisfaction for your apartment.
2. Have a look around the place before you buy/lease it.
This one may seem like common sense but it is how lots of scammers catch people out. If the landlord isn’t willing to show you the place remember, no place is too good for you not to look at. It’s not worth the risk so if a landlord doesn’t let you look at the place move on to your next option immediately.
3. Always sign a written lease.
Some shady landlords try to get away with a verbal agreement. If this happens insist on getting a written agreement. Verbal agreements are near impossible to track in court and are just a real headache. If you do get have a verbal agreement make sure both you and the landlord have recordings of the conversation. When you do sign a written lease make sure you also get a copy of the lease as well just like the recordings of the verbal agreement.
4. Try to meet the landlord in person first.
This would seem impossible not to meet the landlord first but now there are e-contracts that you can sign over the internet as well as house tours making entirely possible to never actually meet the landlord. Not meeting them in person can lead to many difficulties if they do end up scamming you such as. Not being able to identify the person who scammed you e.g. They could’ve used a fake name while signing the lease.
5. Before signing a lease make sure the rental numbers line up.
Something that is quite common among scammers is changing subtle details that you wouldn’t notice on the surface level. One of the most common of these is changing a decimal place by one. It is a small change to look at but it would make the difference between 250 euro a week and 2,500 euro a week.
6. Always check the current market prices.
Speaking of prices a week check to see if they are charging you per month or week. An offer may seem too good to be true at first until you are charged roughly three or four times that. A very good way to avoid this is to compare prices to other houses and check the current market. Another factor is to check the area where you are buying. You’d be surprised at the number of people caught out by this.
7. Make sure your potential landlord makes a background check on you.
If a landlord wants to rush you into signing a lease without doing any background checks on you is an immediate red flag. A landlord will want to know if you will wreck the place and if you are suitable to be living the house. If the landlord rushes you into signing the lease the first second you show interest move on to the next house.
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