If the person who is renting it out lives in another country and cant come to the us because of his schedual should i be skeptical?

Asked by Brittnee, San Francisco, CA Mon Mar 5, 2012

Im looking to rent and the place im interested in is being rented out by someone who lives in another country and just rented it out for his daughter. He has a busy schedual so he may not be able to meet up. Im a little worried its to good to be true.

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Matthew Goul…, Agent, San Francisco, CA
Mon Oct 29, 2012
RUN ! i cant say anything else.

Good luck
0 votes
Christopher…, Agent, Tarrytown, NY
Mon Oct 29, 2012
Yes, its most likely a scam. Sounds just like the one that has been floating around Craigs list for years. Anytime you can't see an apt with the landlord and deal with them in person don't do naything with them.

0 votes
Kathleen Gil…, Agent, San Francisco, CA
Mon Oct 29, 2012
Trust your gut, this is the standard wind up to a rental scam... if you owned pricey San francisco real estate, would you run it remotely, or would you hire a professional, who for a small commission, will make sure everything is on the up and up? If the photos look too good to be true, it may be because, they were copied off the mls from a recently sold home.
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Matthew Goul…, Agent, San Francisco, CA
Sun Jul 8, 2012
I believe your feelings are correct. RUN and dont hand over money.
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Eric Baird, , San Francisco County, CA
Mon Mar 5, 2012
Cautious would be the word.. The reality is we now live in a global economy.. For instance, ReLISTO represent many landlords who live and work overseas.. Its normal... Its much more affordable for them to hire a leasing /rental company than try to do it themselves.

Why do you need to meet the landlord? I would insist on certain assurances to make sure 1) he owns the property and 2) he is authorized to rent

1) Have you been allowed to view and enter the unit? Most scam artist are looking to collect deposit money or credit check fees and don't have access to the unit.

2) Ask to see some proof that he is the owner... Property tax bill for instance Have him send you a picture ID
0 votes
John Arendsen, Agent, Leucadia, CA
Mon Mar 5, 2012
Scam, scam, scam. These types of adds have scam and fraud written all over them. Never, never, never fall for these.
0 votes
Jed Lane, Agent, Petaluma, CA
Mon Mar 5, 2012
Yes you should be skeptical because there is a new high level of fraud going on in the rental housing arena.
I am a property manager and as such I hear more than many but the stories and inventiveness just keep escalating. Recently there was a house that had recently sold listed for rent on Trulia at an exceptional price. A friend responded and asked for more info and got this elaborate story about relocation and five year rental possibility only and "just send me the deposit and I'll send you the keys".
Another known story was the woman who'd meet prospective tenants in front of the house and give some excuse why they couldn't get in "but if you want this (unbelievable value rental) just give me the deposit and it's yours".
Never send or give anyone money for a rental without meeting them or their representative to seeing the inside of the property. Spread the word as much as possible and work to capture these grifters.
0 votes
Steven Ornel…, Agent, Fremont, CA
Mon Mar 5, 2012
Rent in Nob Hill:

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, if not more, has vanished.

I shy towards the conservative in these situations; personally, I would move on unless you plan on doing some research. For example:

a) See if you can find/confirm the property/owners name at http://www.blockshopper.com

b) Contact an agent and let them know you are concerned about being scammed and ask them to check the public tax records to confirm the property's ownership and mailing address. If the property address is a rental it will sometimes show the true owner's mailing address.

c) Go to the property with a friend and knock on the door (or simply drop off a note regarding the status of the property) and ask the occupant questions.

0 votes
Don Tepper, Agent, Burke, VA
Mon Mar 5, 2012
It's a scam. No doubt about it.

"Too good to be true." "lives in another country." "not able to meet up."

Scam. Scam. Scam.

Send no money. Cease all communications with the scammer immediately.

Hope that helps.
0 votes
Amy Blakeley, Agent, San Francisco, CA
Mon Mar 5, 2012
You are right to be concerned - this definitely sounds like a scam. Just as a landlord should be interested to meet the propspective tenants, it's important for you as a tenant to meet the landlord. Imagine if this were not a scam - this guy sounds too busy to worry about anything you will need to have repaired during your tenancy. Move on, and best of luck finding the right place!

Amy Blakeley
McGuire Real Estate
0 votes
John Souerbry, Agent, Fairfield, CA
Mon Mar 5, 2012
This is usually a very common scam. They get you to submit an application via email, fax or US Mail, complete with all your personal information, and possibly also an application fee and security deposit. Then they disappear with your money and sell your personal information to identity thieves. They say they are out of the country and can't meet you to show the property until they get an application and they say they are leasing for a family member, usually a married daughter, just in case you check county records to verify who owns the property and the names don't match.
0 votes
Gabriel Rojas, Agent, San Francisco, CA
Mon Mar 5, 2012
Be very cautious. In fact, I'd keep looking...

Good luck in your search.

0 votes
Walter 'Skip'…, Agent, Brea, CA
Mon Mar 5, 2012
Absolutely, this is a very common scam.
Good luck,
0 votes
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