Rental Basics in 92037>Question Details

Kira, Other/Just Looking in 92037

Renting from a distance: what documents do I need from the landlord before sending a security deposit?

Asked by Kira, 92037 Thu Aug 6, 2009

I am going to relocate in California at the beginning of September. I won't be able to go in person to look for a place. I've been looking on the internet and found a place on craigslist that I like. I've talked to the owner. He asked me to send him the deposit, which he said he wouldn't cash unless my application is accepted so he can hold on the apt. for me. The apt. is available on Augst 15th and I asked him to start the lease on Sept. 1st. I am not comfortable sending a check without any kind of commitment from him. I don't know what kind of paperwork I can ask him for to make sure that everything is legit, and that I am not getting ripped off.

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Be careful with rented property on craigslist that is where the scammers hang out. Aproperty management firm or local realtor will be a lot safer for you.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Nov 14, 2012
A high percentage of rental related fraud ties back to Craigslist. Best to employ a realtor to handle your listing, or rental needs as a renter.

All listed rental properties in San Diego
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jun 13, 2012

you are trusting a person you know nothing about with your money.
Please be very careful. were you asked to provide a credit report?. try to ask for an escrow account, Craigs list does not guaranty the legitimacy of their ads. I know of some horror situations, were money is collected by people that do not own the property. Perhaps paying through a PayPal account. If it is too good to be true, most of the time it is.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Oct 16, 2010
Be sure to check the local city/county tax office and verify ownership of the property or their authorization to rent the home
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Sep 28, 2010
Be careful! There are a lot of scammers on craigslist that ask you to send the deposit to them and they would send the keys.

Talk with a local real estate agent that can help you find a home for rent. It doesn't cost you anything and if you are looking to rent while in another area, this would be your safest bet.

Patrick A. Hale, CDPE, RSD
Real Estate Broker & Investor

"Help Over 360 Distressed Home Owners Avoid Foreclosure"
If You or Someone You Know is in Financial Distress Visit:
Web Reference:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 12, 2010

It would be in your best interests since you are out of town to have a local agent represent you in the lease agreement process. You not only need to verify that the "landlord" owns the property, but that it is not in a pre-foreclosure status. Credible landlords usually do a credit check prior to signing a lease, has that been done? Is the rental rate usual and customary for that area? (Another red flag is if the rental rate is lower than usual for the area). You are wise to be cautious.

Kind Regards,

Marcie Sands, REALTOR
Simply The Best Real Estate Co., Inc.
Rancho Bernardo
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 6, 2009
Be very careful. One of our clients had someone try to rent her unit and she didn't have it for rent. Have someone you trust here contact the landlord to verify they actually own the property. A simple tax record check can tell you ownership. As previously answered, this may be legitimate, but Craigslist has a problem with scam rentals and if you don't check you might arrive here and find out there really was no rental. If you have the property address we can check ownership for you.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 6, 2009
Possible Scam. They are quite common on not only Craig's List, but other sites as well.

* * * Use a Real Estate Attorney to hold the Deposit in Escrow * * *

If "The Owner" balks, then you walk.

Best wishes,
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 6, 2009
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