I do not work in property management. It is a completely different type of business from real estate sales. Although, I probably should have gotten into that segment of our market. Rentals are going gangbusters here in Orlando. I have seen a number of articles, and crunched the numbers myself about the high cost of renting here. Orlando is one of the most expensive places in the country relative to the cost to purchase. In other words, rent is much higher than your mortgage payment would be to buy the same property. Still, there are plenty of reasons why you may choose to rent instead of purchasing a home right now.
If you are renting, be careful. There are a number of rental scams out there involving distressed properties. If you read an ad, and all of these scammers love the anonimity of Craigslist, that sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Here is how the scam works. You respond to an ad for a terrific, vacantÂ property for a really low rent. You meet the "owner" at the house, and fill out an application and give them a cash deposit. What you don't know is the "owner" is not the owner, and they are meeting several other people at the same house that day and taking their applications and deposits. They split with your money and a lot of personal financial information about you.
If you are here in Orlando check out the property on www.ocpafl.org which is the property appraiser's website to see who the owner really is. I suggest asking the "owner" to show you their ID, so you know that you are dealing with the real owner. I also suggest running the owner's name against the Civil Case search on www.myorangeclerk.com to see if there have been any foreclosure filings on the property they have for rent. Check this out before you meet with them. There are unscrupulous folks out there renting out properties they own, but are going into foreclosure. There may not be anything illegal about this, but when you receive notice from the bank that you have 30 days to vacate you are still out of luck. The best way to protect yourself is to work through a professional property manager. I have links to several on my webpage www.davidwelch.com/rentals.