Rentals in South of Conant>Question Details

Vahid Ghodusi, Renter in Long Beach, CA

I was asked to pay a refundable deposit before I see the house and receive the agreement papers for rent. Does it sound reasonable to you?

Asked by Vahid Ghodusi, Long Beach, CA Sat Feb 25, 2012

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Answers

10
I would avoid paying money up front, as this is usually a scam. Many of these scams are being advertised on Craigslist.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 7, 2012
Be very careful when advancing funds on rental properties. There's a ton of rental scams and unscrupulous property managers that have very creative ways of separating unwary consumers from their money.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 27, 2012
Dear Vahid,
No it is not reasonable to pay a deposit before you see a home. If you are forced to do this, I would try to place the deposit on a credit card so you can dispute the charge if necessary.

Best of luck,
Gene Scott
Realtor
ERA Buy America Real Estate Services
562-212-2345
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Feb 26, 2012
Vahid:

You have to be careful when renting these days as the current state of the economy has ushered in plenty of rental scams. Many would be Renters have provided deposits only to find the person who placed the ad did not even own the property and their deposit has vanished.

As far as your question:

No, it does not sound reasonable; however, you can exercise some due diligence to protect yourself. Once you believe you have found a property you are interested in and the person who has asked you for the deposit is:

1)
A legitimate Property Management company this may be OK; however, I certainly would check into whether the company has any complaints filed against them or have prior court judgments (typically found on County Recorder online databases).

2)
An individual stating they own the property a) see if you can find the property using the owners name at http://www.blockshopper.com and/or b) contact an agent and let them know you are concerned about being scammed and ask that they check the public tax records to confirm the property's ownership. In addition, you may want to also ask if a Notice of Default of Trustee Sale has been recorded, which would indicate the owner may lose the property to foreclosure. Regarding this last point see:

CA's "Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act" - need to know info!
http://www.trulia.com/blog/steve_ornellas_mba_re_mastersgri/…

-Steve
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Feb 26, 2012
No, it definitely does not. Asking for a fee before you have even seen the property makes no sense. And I wouldn't give any money to anyone before you have a lease agreement either.

Best Regards,

Lance King/Owner-Managing Broker
lance@fixedrateproperties.com
415.722.5549
DRE# 01384425
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Feb 26, 2012
Hi Vahid,

I would never give any money before I have
1.) seen inside the property,
2.) read the lease agreement (and am OK with the terms of the contract),
3.) signed the agreement and have the landlord or authorized agent also sign the contract in my presence
4.) and received the keys to the property (check to make sure they work)

It is normal for the landlord or designated agent to ask for a fee to run a credit check, but I believe it is always a RED FLAG when they ask for or require 1st month's rent and/or a security deposit without giving the tenant the keys and a fully executed lease agreement.

Also asking a REALTOR to confirm the owner of the rental property would be wise.

Hope this has been helpul.

Louri Groves
Prudential California Realty
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Feb 25, 2012
You should never have to pay a deposit before you have looked at the property ,filled out an application and have been approved. Once you have signed the lease, then you would be obligated to pay a deposit along with first and last months rent (depending on the landlord requirements). The only fee that is asked for before renting the unit is an application fee(usually around $30) when you officially apply for the rental. Anything outside of that would be questionable. I recommend asking a local realtor for ownership information to verify that you are actually working with the owner or owners representative. Good luck with your search!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Feb 25, 2012
The two answers you have been given are correct. I do rentals in Long Beach and there is never a deposit to show someone a house? If you are looking for a house in South of Conant area it you email me your email adress I will be happy to send you any houses that come along that fit your parameters directly from our MLS. You can also find rentals on Realtor.com and the Trulia.com sites.

Good Luck,
Barbara Robbins-Olexa, Broker
L B Brokerage
714-296-7270
bstrealtor@aol.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Feb 25, 2012
There are some people that are advertising foreclosures as their own properties for rent and then they ask you for a refundable deposit and then you never hear from them again because they don't even own the property. Call a local real estate agent and ask them if they could check who is the owner of the property. As long as you have the address they should be able to find that out for you. If you can let me know what happens by e-mail. Thanks
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Feb 25, 2012
Hi

No it does not seem reasonable. Do not pay anything to anyone until you have seen the property and have met with either the owner or his agent.

Fran and Mark Redding
Prudential Fox & Roach, Realtors
1010 Stony Hill Road
Yardley, PA 19067
215-321-3307 Direct
215-208-7169 Cell
http://www.franandmark.com
Web Reference: http://www.franandmark.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Feb 25, 2012
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