15 Jan Tenant Scams
Tenant scams happen daily impacting landlords all across San Diego county. From writing bad checks and asking for a refund to professional squatters who know exactly how to stretch out the judicial process. If you don’t believe that applicants are looking for a way to scam their way into a home or apartment that they have no intention of treating reasonably, you haven’t been a landlord for very long. And, just when you thought your job as a landlord was difficult enough, the fact is you could get scammed without even knowing it! From tenants who have no intention of paying their rent to falsified pay stubs and illegal sublets. The world we live in today, is full or people thinking up ways to steal money. In fact, tenant scam artists prey on those who do not perform a proper screening. Not to mention, the fact that every time you list a vacancy, you are at risk of attracting a scammer.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this post in not intended to be construed as legal advice, nor should it be considered a substitute for obtaining individual legal counsel or consulting your local, state, federal or provincial tenancy laws…
The Deadbeat Tenant Scam
Not to be confused with renters who are having a hard time paying rent due to a sudden illness or job loss. Anyone in property management has come across a renter who cannot pay their rent on time. While good renters can momentarily experience cash flow problems, their are renters who intentionally move into a property knowing they will never pay rent. Not only does this type of renter bank on the fact that it will take you a few months to catch onto their scam, they also know they can live rent free until you evict them. The deadbeat tenant scam occurs when a renter moves into a home or apartment with no intention of paying rent. As a result, it forces the landlord to evict them. A process that can take three months or more. Resulting in a tenant who is now living rent free until you get them out!
How to prevent it: Before renting to anyone, do a thorough background check, including a credit and criminal history search…
BUT BEWARE… Even if you require the proper proof you can end up with falsified documents…
While the word fraud conjures up images of Internet scams and stolen identities, landlords are often the targets of fraud schemes. In particular, small landlords are often viewed as an easy target. From tenants who use someone else’s identity to rent a property to those who lie about their employment, a professional tenant scammer knows exactly what they are doing.
Common Tenant Scams
- Money Wiring Scams
- Falsified Pay Stubs Scam
- Illegal Sublets to Third Parties
BEWARE… Even if you require the proper proof you can end up with falsified documents…
Tenant Screening Scam
The rental application is completely filled out, proof of residence and employment are all there. So, you take the security deposit and first month’s rent. While it appears that everything is in order, it could not be further from the truth. A month goes by and you notice the check bounced. And before you know it, you are in an upwards battle with a professional tenant scammer. One you will never win. The truth is, finding a good tenant is difficult! Especially when there are applicants pretending be good people. For this reason, we offer you some insight on scams that trick landlords into accepting bad tenants.
The False Credit Report
With the boom in the rental market, tenants will usually apply to multiple rentals and in turn, come prepared with their own credit report in order to save on the fees landlords charge for a credit check. And, while you may appreciate a prospective tenant who brings their application with a tidy little pile of supporting paperwork, and a copy of their credit report, beware. With today’s technology anyone with Photoshop can edit literally any document they want.
The Fabricated Proof of Residence and Employment
Did you know that there is a market for fake pay stubs and W-2s? While it might seem cynical to doubt the information a prospective tenant has provided you, don’t forget about Photoshop. Unfortunately, there is a market where people sell check stubs and proof of employment documents. Not only are the services for falsified check stubs and other documents easy to access, the services are even advertised on Craigslist. Sad but true, a service many landlords use to find good tenants, is where bad tenants find services to scam you.
When In Doubt
If you have questions about how to screen prospective tenants or need help doing so, please contact us. We manage single-family homes, condos, and apartment buildings throughout the San Diego area. Whether you are interested in changing property managers, or simply looking to hire a property management company for the first time, Rancho Mesa Properties can help. We take care of all types of residential rental properties including homes, condos, multiplexes such as duplex and triplexes, and even small apartment buildings. Let us manage your rental properties, so you can enjoy your life! Call us today at (858) 576-2176. We will save you time, money, and the stress that comes along with managing your own rentals.