Renting an apartment or house is a big deal. You're probably excited to see if it's the right home for you, but also nervous about how much it will cost and whether or not you will get what you want. That's why so many people turn to online rental search engines like Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist when looking for places to rent. Unfortunately, there are scammers out there who try to take advantage of people by tricking them into paying for fake apartments online by using listings that appear authentic but aren't. And, it can also be expensive and time-consuming. Fortunately, there are ways you can avoid falling victim to these scams so that your next move is smooth sailing!
There are many types of rental scams and you should be cautious when renting a house. Scammers often ask people to wire money, especially overseas or via non-bank transfer services.
Never use a non-secure payment method such as Western Union or MoneyGram when paying for a rental. The money you send will be gone forever, and the scammer will take your money and disappear.
Google Street View is a great tool for verifying locations. You can use it to confirm that the address listed on your rental property listing matches the actual location of that property.
You can also use Google Street View to check nearby landmarks, such as parks or schools, which may help you determine if it would be safe for your family to move there.
If you can't locate any information about who you're dealing with, it's possible that someone is trying to scam you out of money by posing as an agent or another property owner who has hired them—and they've got your contact information in hand! In this case, contact those companies directly through their customer service lines instead of calling around hoping one will answer (and then hopefully get hung up on).
Next, check out the neighborhood to see if it matches what’s described in the ad, and look to see whether any major landmarks have been omitted from the description (scammers who have never seen the property may leave them out).
Also, make sure that you’re seeing a real-life photo of your prospective rental house. Are there other photos on Google Maps? Does it appear as though they were taken with a camera phone or laptop webcam? If so, this could mean that someone has used an image of another property as their own.
Always be skeptical of any offer that sounds too good to be true. It's important to remember that it takes time and effort for scammers to find new victims, so they may not have a lot of available rental listings at the moment. If you need any help in finding a new home, don't hesitate to reach out to us at [email protected] or call +1 915 996 5775.
As an interested applicant, you will always want to make sure that you complete the application process promptly. Whether it’s your first time submitting a rental application or not, it’s important to know that completing the rental application is vital to get approved.
Applications are processed on a FIRST-COME-PRE-QUALIFIED, FIRST-SERVE BASIS; and, without regard to race, color, religion, disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, national origin, veteran status, genetic information, union status, and/or beliefs, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state or local law.
What does a pre-qualified applicant look like? An application is considered pre-qualified if the below has been successfully satisfied/completed:
Written below are the steps on what the rental application process looks like. Typically, this will take one to three (1-3) business days. However, there are times when one application might take longer than usual due to uncontrollable circumstances.
Applicants are asked to enter their:
Please be aware that any false information provided on your application will be grounds for denial.
The application fee will be charged to the account once it’s your turn. The fee is used to cover the administrative, hard, and soft costs of processing individual rental applications. They cannot be ordered/processed collectively or combined.
In evaluating the application, the consumer reporting agency (TransUnion LLC) provides information that in whole or in part influences the approval or denial decision. TransUnion LLC and Vantage Data Solutions provide us with credit and criminal record information. For applicants who have questions about their report(s), they have the right to dispute the matter with the reporting agency, not through 5 Star Property Management, that has provided the report. The reporting agency can be reached through RentPort consumer relations at 1- 800-230-9376 or [email protected].
This is one of the essential parts of the screening process. These data ensure that one can afford the rental property desired by an applicant. While 5 Star Property Management relies on various forms of information to determine if a tenant can afford to rent the property, it’s recommended that these be filled out with all honesty with sources showing the current total net income.
Each animal(s) that will live on the property is required to undergo a screening process with our affiliated company - PetScreening.com
“PetScreening is a simple and secure way to manage important information about your Pet or Assistance Animal. If you have No Pet or Animal you are not required to complete the screening process.
The per-pet application fee is as low as $20 for the first pet and $15 for every additional pet. Each pet profile must be processed separately but the multi-pet discount will be automatically applied to any additional pet profiles processed.
There is no charge ($0) for submitting a reasonable accommodation request for an assistance animal. It will be reviewed by our legal review team per the FHAct guidelines. Please be aware of your state's statutes or local ordinances, if any, for criminal offenses and/or penalties for committing assistance animal fraud.”Source: Petscreening.com
The rental verification assists 5 Star Property Management to verify the rental history of an applicant. In this process, the applicants are asked to sign the Authorization to Release Information to allow us to call/email/text their listed landlord and ask for information in reference to their rental history. This allows us to get more accurate data on how rent payments were delivered, if there were any problems during the lease, or if there had been any complaints. Please know that our decision is based on the information only and not on hearsay, thus we make sure that we do this objectively.
Once all the above information has been gathered, 5 Star Property Management objectively summarizes them and presents them to the rental owners for final approval. Once the decision has been made, it’ll be relayed to the applicant(s).
Upon getting approval, two things take place immediately:
Move-in date is tentatively scheduled as submitted on the rental application. The applicant is asked if there are any changes to it and are reminded how the keys will be handed off.
The lease packet will be drafted within 1-2 business days and sent to the applicant electronically for