Regardless of how competitive the market is - sending money to a stranger before you even SEE the property you are committing to rent is a monumentally bad idea.
This is definitely not normal, and more than likely a scam.
Have a great day;
CEO & SR Credit & Mortgage Consultant of
Ex-Mortgage Broker of more than 10 years
Unfortunately the web based â€œfreeâ€ sites have attracted scammers who have time and donâ€™t mind just phishing for fools. Over the last few years rental scams have been on a huge upswing and with the rent market so tight in SF itâ€™s proven to be a gold field for the scammers.
When the deal sounds even a bit too good to be true it probably is nothing more than someone trying to separate the prospective tenant from their money. The creativity used in creating the fictional reasons why money needs to be sent before keys are delivered or even access granted could win Pulitzer prizes if there was a category for â€œBest Grift in Rental Scamâ€.
Do not comply. The app will provide the person with your permission to run your credit report, in short, everything needed to steal your assets and your identity.
It may be someone operating out of a basement in the Ukraine with no heat. Or someone operating out of a basement in Nigeria with no air conditioner. Ask for the Department of Real Estate license number â€“ which you can then confirm online. You could also ask the local Fraud detail of the DAâ€™s office if it has received complaints against the alleged agent.
Or â€¦.. ring the doorbell and ask the occupant whether she/he is leaving. Show the online ad. Most of the properties are NOT for rent.
Best of luck,
Leopold A Rodriguez
Single Agency Broker 00849905
Attorney at Law
400 Montgomery 505, San Francisco