The rise in rental scams is a source of concern for both landlords and tenants, as certain illegal actions in the residential leasing industry taint the industry's image. Rental scams have become far more common in recent years. People looking for rental properties are frequently duped by common rental scams. One of the most prevalent rental scams is asking tenants for cash payment before completing any rental agreement. 

We outline some of the most typical rental scams in today's culture by some of the renters.

1. No agreement needed 

It's a red flag if the property owner has agreed to rent out the property to you without signing a documented deed. The rental agreement specifies the duration of the stay, the rental amount to be paid by the renter, and other terms relating to the use of the property's amenities. 

The lack of a contract could eventually be difficult for the tenant. In the absence of a missing rent agreement, it’s easy to conduct illegal activities. 

2. Asking for payment before the site visit 

In some situations, a broker would want a cash advance before showing the tenant a home. This is another popular rental scam that attracts potential tenants. If the landlord or broker requests payment in advance of the site visit, it is better to cancel the deal. 

The broker may show you a few images of the phoney property and say that it is the real one. Don't be fooled by such images. Always visit the site before shifting in and do not pay anything until the property is finalized. 

3. Phoney brokers or agents 

Another common mistake made by prospective tenants when looking for a rental home is consulting fraudulent real estate brokers. The Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act (RERA) was enacted by the central government to identify fake brokers in order to eliminate such scams. When looking for rental properties, always consult a licensed broker. You can also browse online websites, for instance, BivocalBirds.com for searching a rented property to ensure safe and verified listings of the rental properties. 

4. Holding back the security deposit 

A landlord is frequently observed withholding the security deposit for a rental property by claiming significant damage done by a tenant. Tenants are urged to take photos (or record a video) before moving in and leaving the house to avoid similar scams. 

5. Too eager to rent out the property 

The landlord may be overly keen to rent out the residential unit at times. This may be a high alert for you. A potential tenant must do a background check on the landlord in such instances. 

6. Not meeting in person 

If a landlord is renting a property without meeting you in person, this is not a good sign for you. You must ask the reason for the same and also do a research for the background check of the landlord. 

7. Asking additional charges 

It is not a good indication if any landlord or renter asks you to pay any other additional charges except the property rent and security deposit in advance. This is unethical to charge anything, apart from the mentioned charges in the rent agreement. As a tenant, you are not liable to unauthorized payments. 

What does BivocalBirds do to steer clear of the rental scam? 

There are many ways through which rental scams can be circumvented. We have framed our structure in a way that you will not become a victim of any fraud. We ensure our clients’ safe rented search with no hassle and frauds. We have complete involvement in the entire process to ensure that you find a safe second home. 

Our protocols to outwit the rental scams: 

1. Safe login 

We accept login by generating OTP that will only be sent to your registered mobile number. After successful log in, you become our authorized user. 

2. Schedule your date and time to visit the property 

We respect your time. With a special feature on our website, you can schedule the date and time of your choice for the property visit. 

3. Single point of contact 

To ensure your safety, we align only one relationship manager to you on call. This avoids confusions. Our relationship managers always wear a uniform with our brand logo. 

4. Aligning multiple verified properties 

Our relationship manager will take you to the number of verified options through virtual home tour as per your requirements. 

5. Verified renters 

We do a background check of the renters after they post their property and if something is fishy we don’t list that property. 

6. Online meeting 

We know that searching for a home and meeting a renter always in person is difficult and time-consuming. 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. 

8. Digital documentation 

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

9. Actual visit 

We take you to the rented home through our relationship manager, who hands over the gate pass and the keys of the rented premises. 

10. Digital payment 

When all the steps are completed, we ask for our service charges and that is only through digital mode. We don’t call for the payments. It is accepted only in the presence of our relationship manager and you. 

Bottom Line 

We ensure that you don’t have to take any trouble searching the home for you and that you have a second home at just one click. Our relationship manager will take follow up at regular bits of time. This is done to ensure that you are at a safe place. Also, please don’t accept any fake calls to entertain any such fraudsters who ask OTP and then siphon money off from your account balance. Your safety is our concern. 

Also read, Beware Landlords! Don't Fall for These Scams