RENT Magazine Q3 '21

you and stealing your rents! How can this identity fraud happen?

Since you did not do a proper background check, you rented your property to someone using a false name and identity. This person then rented your property to someone else, collecting that unsuspecting person’s deposit and pre-paid rent. Another scenario involves the scammer charging his victim more rent than he pays you, thus making a profit by keeping the difference for himself. You can avoid being a victim of the fake landlord trick by confirming that your prospective tenant is who they say they are. Illegal subletting is another form of tenant fraud. The renter will sublet their apartment, ask for a large amount of rent in advance and then disappear. One way to prevent this activity is to add a no-sublet clause to your lease agreement. If you are amenable to sublets, be sure to specify that you must pre-approve any new tenant who will be subletting your unit.

how to avoid being a victim:

Always ask for two types of identification, including a photo ID.

Run a comprehensive background check.

Never allow a tenant to take occupancy without paying a security deposit and at least one month’s rent. When possible, drop in on your properties to be sure that the person living there is the person you rented to.

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