Rental scams have existed from the beginning of the landlord-tenant relationship. Historically, the most prevalent swindle included withholding the payment frequently by the tenant, giving random excuses. The chance for outright fraud has never been greater as the world has been smaller, technology has been more widespread, and landlord-tenant relationships have been more anonymous. There have been n number of frauds which have taken place from tenants’ end and renters have become a victim of those scams. 

​If you are a homeowner, beware of the below-mentioned rental scams by tenants.

1. Wrong Background Information

A tenant who is genuine will always provide you with the right information before shifting in the rented house. If a tenant is providing you wrong background information, that is a red flag for you as you never know from where he comes.

Always do the proper background check of tenants before letting them in. Don’t let anyone enter your premises without a complete background check. You can also ask them about their previous address and can get the verification done. Make sure you have a proper rent agreement signed by the tenant and a copy of their identity proof.

2. No Intention of Paying the Rent or Maintenance

Many tenants don’t want to pay the rent and maintenance charges. If a tenant keeps on procrastinating, then it’s an alarming sign for you. If it’s done without any solid reason, please look into the matter and send legal notice to avoid any further scam.

3. Subletting the Rented Premises

It is not a good sign if a tenant is letting your premises on rent which has been rented to them only. Don’t allow tenants to sub let your space for sharing their rental amount, as it is not a commercial place to earn from. Keep a check on them, and let the tenant know beforehand that they cannot share their rented property to other tenants.

Related: Tips For House Hunters: Common Rental Scams and How to Avoid Them

4. Payment Frauds

As per a recent report by the Times of India, two separate but common incidents took place in Bengaluru, where tenant siphoned off around 1.2 lakhs from the account of the owners belonging from Whitefield.

The tenant was the same in both the cases and asked to scan the QR code from their mobiles to make an advance payment after finalizing the deal. The fake tenant withdrew a sum of 1.2 lakhs from both the owners.

Don’t exchange any QR codes, or other OTPs through your mobile phone.

5. Delaying in Signing the Rent Agreement

If a tenant delays in signing the rent agreement or is not eager to get the verification process done, it’s a red flag. Never trust a tenant who is not ready to complete the verification and sign the lock-in agreement.

6. Keeping co-tenants without Communication

It’s wrong both morally and ethically to keep co-tenants without any information. A tenant cannot simply accommodate any co-tenant without prior intimation. It should be informed to the tenants before shifting to the rented premise whether the house is meant for the stay of bachelor/family/co-living.

7. Property Damage/Selling the Goods

It’s the responsibility of the tenants to keep the rented premises as their second home. If any damage is done to the property or the goods are sold in a furnished home, it is alarming if the loss is not recovered. As a landlord you have all the rights to ask the tenant to pay for the huge damage done and if the tenant doesn’t do so, deduct the amount from the security deposit.

Related: Warning for Tenants: Beware of These Rental Scams

8. Not Vacating the Premises on Completing the Rent Duration

If a tenant is not willing to move out of the rented premises, take legal actions against the tenant. The intentions of the tenant are clear from such act and it is your responsibility to take further actions against the same.

How can BivocalBirds helps you stay steer clear of these rental scams?

We serve as a bridge between landlords and tenants and provide them with a safe platform to interact with each other. We have framed our protocols keeping these rental scams in mind. With our secure online platform, you can easily offer your house on rent.

1. Log in to our Website

We accept login by generating OTP that will only be sent to your registered mobile number. After logging in, you become an authorized user to our website & can post your property for free on our website. 

2. Enter the Property Details

Upload all your property details and other requirements. Once you are done with this you will be contacted by our team ASAP.

3. Single Point of Contact

To ensure safety, we align only one relationship manager to you on call. This avoids confusions and will help you find the tenant of your conditions. Generally, many of the brokers or agents call you if you would log in to other websites. Our relationship manager will be wearing a uniform with our brand logo.

4. Aligning Multiple Tenants of your Requirements

Our relationship manager will ask you to show the rented premise through a virtual tour of the rented space. This will be shown to different tenants.

5. Verified Tenants 

We do a background check of the tenants before showing them the rented property options. 

6. Online Meeting 

We know that finding a good tenant and meeting different potential tenants one by one is difficult and time taking. Hence, we follow the procedure of online meetings through a video call to ensure a hassle-free search. 

7. Finalising the Deal 

Our relationship manager will connect with you asking about the choice you made. Once the deal is done, we inform both parties about it. 

Related: How Can the Model Tenancy Act be a Blessing to NRIs?

8. Digital Documentation 

Once the deal is locked, we further proceed with the rent agreement and get it signed digitally by both parties. 

9. Actual Visit & Payment 

We are ready for the meeting in person of you and the tenant once the deal is locked and the payment is also made in advance as per the norms of the rent agreement. 

10. Follow up 

We take timely feedback from our clients regarding the tenant. 

Bottom Line 

The above-mentioned scams mentioned are just a few of the many. To protect your interests, it’s recommended to conduct thorough background and credit checks of tenants and always meet the potential tenants in person before you allow them to sign the lease and move in. ​​