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Lee Stiber's Blog

By Lee Stiber (215) 646-2162 | Agent in Blue Bell, PA

Renters Beware...Scams are all too common


Looking for a Rental in Philadelphia, Montgomery County or Bucks County....Beware

Over the past few months I have gotten quite a few phone calls from prospective renters that found my property listing online. After having some in depth conversations with these individuals I decided to write this post to warn others about what is happening with today's rental market, especially the Greater Philadelphia Rental Market.

As mortgage guidelines become increasing stricter and more people are being forced out of their homes due to foreclosure, the rental market in most areas including Philadelphia, Montgomery County and Bucks County have been exploding. Landlords are able to be much pickier in their tenants as well as charge higher rents than in previous years. As a second part of this post, we will discuss the benefits of home ownership vs. renting and what is best for your unique situation.

Due your homework when search for a Rental Online...Craigslist, Zillow and Trulia

The main reason of this post was to make sure that anyone looking to rent a property due, especially shopping online, does their due diligence. The phone calls I received were from very excited individuals that found my property listed for rent. They noted that they saw it on such popular rental search sites as Craigslist, Trulia and Zillow. The shocking part to me, was that the properties they were inquiring about, mostly located in Northeast Philadelphia, had NEVER been for rent nor were the owners interested in renting them. I searched the site including again, Craigslist, Zillow and Trulia and did a little research myself on properties for rent. After a few clicks, I was able to find the listings the people mentioned and sent an email to the "landlord" that was listed, stating I was interested in renting the home. In each case the same return email was sent to me. It is below:

"Thanks for your interest regarding our home for rent.Our 3 bedroom single family home is still available for rent, We are looking for a responsible,neat and God fearing person or family whom we could trust and rely on with our properties, a family that will handle our property as if it were theirs. Actually we had our home for SALE before leaving for Oklahoma but after much deliberation we were unable to sell it again other than to have it up for lease since we won't be spending more than 4 years here in Oklahoma. We lost the agent that helped us take care of our home and we haven't found a reputable agency that will help us in taking care of our home and leaving the house empty wouldn't be a good idea so we thought of leasing it out Well after we lost the agent that helped us take care of our house, he died 28th Nov 2010 and since we could not live the house empty we had to let our Church members stay there till we get back from Tulsa OK.
The main reason why the house is for rent is that I was transferred from my place of work to further my career in Tulsa, OK. I and my family will be away for good 4 years or more, We require is a responsible and God fearing family whom we will trust and rely on with our property. We would also like to know more about you and your family, your renting experience, how long you wish occupying our home and when you plan moving into our home. We also require a good and responsible family whom are very neat freaks. We want a tenant who will do what he/she agrees to do. Someone who morally chooses to do the right
thing. A person whose signature on a contract signifies a binding promise they will keep, A clean tenant has higher standards than a dirty tenant. It is a fact that clean tenant will care for your rental property better than a dirty
tenant. Isn't it? Please do drive by and see the interior and exterior part of our house from the outside,why we don't want our Church members to know that we are renting it out to you, because if we let them know they will want to let
our Church priest know and he will want us to let them start making payment or accept them as our new tenant which we are not pleased with.Hope you know where we are coming from?"

Scam AlertRental Scams are becoming more popular

After listening to this dribble and knowing that this information was a complete lie and totally inaccurate, I decided to play along and responded back stating that I was interested in renting the unit after seeing it from the outside. Please keep in mind that my sellers were still in the Philadelphia area. These scammers were able to get an email address that matched my sellers name. The next email that I got in response explained it all. In order for me to get the rental started and to not loose the place I had to send a $900.00 deposit check to Oklahoma and they will then send me the keys to the unit. I left it at that, and responded back, with not so nice of words, however was never emailed back. Surprise, surprise!!

Basically, if you or anyone you know is looking to rent a property and is searching online please be aware that these scams are becoming much more prevalent than I have ever seen. To assure you do not get in this situation and become scammed I offer you some advice. Either drive by the property you saw listed on Craigslist, Trulia or Zillow and call the agent directly to see if the property is actually for rent. Another option would be to work with a professional Realtor to help you find a rental as you will be assured that your best interests are looked after and you will not loose $900.00 to a scammer.

Due to the prevalence of this, I have added a rental search directory on my website. All of these are legitimate rentals and can be shown to you by any Realtor. The directory includes searches for Rentals in Philadelphia, Rentals in Montgomery County and Rentals in Bucks County, Pa.

Buying, Selling or Renting in The Greater Philadelphia Area

Buying, selling or renting a home in The Greater Philadelphia area can be a daunting process in a city this size, especially if you’re new to town. You’ll need a resident expert to show you around and help you narrow down the areas where you might like to live. I will help you find the perfect home in the right area to fit your lifestyle, budget and needs! There are many area options to choose from including Montgomery County, Bucks County, Philadelphia as well as other surrounding counties.

When I list and sell a Philadelphia area home for my clients I strive to make the experience a pleasant one. My mission is to provide outstanding service while utilizing the best practices and systems available. It is our goal to sell your home in the quickest amount of time, for the most amount of money and for the least amount of stress to you.

If you have tried to sell your home on your own, have already listed with an agent but were not able to sell, or have any questions about today’s real estate market, we would love to talk to you.

We specialize in Philadelphia area homes, including, but not limited to:

  • Montgomery County Single Family Real Estate -Montco Condos, Montco Short Sales and Foreclosures
  • Bucks County Single Family Real Estate– Bucks Condos, Bucks Short sales and foreclosures
  • Philadelphia Single Family Real Estate– Philadelphia Condos, Philadelphia Short sales and foreclosures

For more information on how I can best serve your Greater Philadelphia real estate needs including Bucks and Montgomery Counties please fill out the contact form below or give me a call at 215-646-2162

Comments

By Ruth & Perry Mistry,  Fri Jun 24 2011, 20:01
Terrific post, keep up the great work.

Just sold a home in Bay Area, doing a walk through and there is a knock.

Right, renters found the home advertised on Carigs List for rent, the list was asking for deposit and rent
right away.

Perry
By Adesh Soodeen,  Tue Jul 12 2011, 12:47
After inquiring about a house I saw for rent on trulia.com this e-mail was sent to me. I'm currently looking for a house in South Florida so this problem is not only with Philadelphia listings.



From Kim Patterson kkkmpttrsnn@hotmail.com

Hello

Thanks for your interest regarding our house, yes our home is still available for rent, we are looking for a responsible and neat person or a family whom we could trust and rely on with our property, a family that will handle our property as if it were theirs. We initially had our home for sale before leaving for NY but with my husband's decision we decided not to sell but put it up for lease since we won't be spending more than 4 years here in Albany, we lost the agent that helped us take care of our home to cancer late December 2010 and leaving the house empty is not a good option for us.We will be handling everything ourselves if thats alright by you.

The main reason why the house is for rent is that my husband got transfer from his place of work to NY, Myself and my family will be away for good 4 years or more, all we require is a responsible and God fearing family whom we will trust and rely on with our property.We would also like to know more about you and your family, your renting experience, how long you wish occupying and when you plan moving into our home.we also require a good and responsible family whom are very neat freaks,below is the address of the house for you to go view it.

Address:4161 Northwest 107th Avenue, Coral Springs FL 33065
BEDROOMS:3
BATHROOMS:2
Size:1732
Monthly Rent:1100
Security Deposit: $900 (Refundable)

Hope you are pleased with the sum of $1100/month with heat laundry facilities, air condition, Etc.the security deposit fee is $900.YOUR PETS ARE FULLY WELCOME! We are looking forward to read from you soon.


Have a wonderful day,
Kim Patterson Lang



Is there any way to report these people to the authorities?
By Lee Stiber (215) 646-2162,  Tue Jul 12 2011, 12:53
Adesh, I have been looking into a way to report them but haven't found anything as of yet.
Im glad you didn't take the bait
By Bspalek,  Wed Mar 28 2012, 14:06
This same scam is being used for Des Moines, Iowa properties as well. We didn't take the bait as far as sending money, but we did send them personal information about ourselves that might be able to be used in the future for identity theft purposes.

Initial email we received:

Hello





Thanks for your interest regarding our house our home is still available for rent, we are looking for a responsible neat person or a family whom we could trust and rely on with our property, a family that will handle our property as if it were theirs. We initially had our home for sale before leaving for my new appointment with Chevron oil which will last a total five years,for this reason we decided not to sell but put it up for lease since we will be spending that much time.We lost our previous agent to cancer last november and leaving our home empty is not a good option for us.



Our priority isn’t the rent but that our property is well kept as myself and my family will be away for good 5 years or more thats why we require a responsible and God fearing family whom we can trust and rely on with our property.We would also like to know more about you and your family, your renting experience, how long you wish occupying and when you plan moving into our home before we proceed as we require a good and responsible family whom are very neat freaks, a photo of you or your family will be greatly appreciated, below is the address of the house for you to go view it.



Address:3405 Southwest 31st Street, Des Moines IA 50321

BEDROOMS:3

BATHROOMS:2full ,2partial

Size:2,010 sqft

Monthly Rent:$525

Security Deposit: $900 (Refundable)





Hope you are pleased with the sum of $525month,security deposit $900 when we receive your reply we will send you our rental agreement to decide if you would love to proceed,YOUR PETS ARE FULLY WELCOME! We look forward to read from you soon.





Have a wonderful day,

Mr&Mrs.Guthrie

text us on 3477462657 for faster response.
By Jazmine Cherman,  Thu Jun 28 2012, 09:40
GLAD i decided to google this number! Same scam here in NY, this is what i got:

Hello

Thanks for your interest regarding our house our home is still available for rent, we are looking for a responsible neat person or a family whom we could trust and rely on with our property, a family that will handle our property as if it were theirs. We initially had our home for sale before leaving for my new appointment with Chevron oil which will last a total five years,for this reason we decided not to sell but put it up for lease since we will be spending that much time.We lost our previous agent to cancer last november and leaving our home empty is not a good option for us.

Our priority isn’t the rent but that our property is well kept as myself and my family will be away for good 5 years or more thats why we require a responsible and God fearing family whom we can trust and rely on with our property.We would also like to know more about you and your family, your renting experience, how long you wish occupying and when you plan moving into our home before we proceed as we require a good and responsible family whom are very neat freaks, a photo of you or your family will be greatly appreciated, below is the address of the house for you to go view it.

Address: 11807 194th Street, Jamaica NY 11412

BEDROOMS: 3

BATHROOMS: 2

Monthly Rent: $1,350

Security Deposit: $900 (Refundable)

Hope you are pleased with the sum of $1,350/month,security deposit $900 when we receive your reply we will send you our rental agreement to decide if you would love to proceed,YOUR PETS ARE FULLY WELCOME! We look forward to read from you soon.

Have a wonderful day,

Mr. & Mrs. Helena E. Liggons

text us on 3477462657
By Emma921,  Wed Jul 11 2012, 09:43
I just received this email.

Hello

Thanks for your interest regarding our house our home is still available for rent, we are looking for a responsible neat person or a family whom we could trust and rely on with our property, a family that will handle our property as if it were theirs. We initially had our home for sale before leaving for my new appointment with Chevron oil which will last a total five years,for this reason we decided not to sell but put it up for lease since we will be spending that much time.We lost our previous agent to cancer last November and leaving our home empty is not a good option for us.

Our priority isn’t the rent but that our property is well kept as myself and my family will be away for good 5 years or more that's why we require a responsible and God fearing family whom we can trust and rely on with our property.We would also like to know more about you and your family, your renting experience, how long you wish occupying and when you plan moving into our home before we proceed as we require a good and responsible family whom are very neat freaks, a photo of you or your family will be greatly appreciated, below is the address of the house for you to go view it.

Address: 62 Dale Street, Boston MA 02131

BEDROOMS: 3

BATHROOMS: I full , 1 partial

Size: Marie J. Lawrence

Monthly Rent: $1,400

Security Deposit: $900 (Refundable)

Hope you are pleased with the sum of $1,400/month,security deposit $900 when we receive your reply we will send you our rental agreement to decide if you would love to proceed,YOUR PETS ARE FULLY WELCOME! We look forward to read from you soon.

Have a wonderful day,

Mr. & Mrs. M.J. Lawrence

You can text us on 3477462657 for faster response and reply to our email if interested, send us email.
By Lee Stiber (215) 646-2162,  Wed Jul 11 2012, 18:35
Emma, Its insane what these people are doing. Im scared to think how many people actually go for it.

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