Hello, I'm planning to search for rental properties in bay area. I'm new to the US market so I have a couple of basic questions:

Asked by Sherrie Lam, San Francisco, CA Thu Feb 13, 2014

My questions about rental agreements:
1) Do landlords have to show proof of ownership to the tenant during a lease execution?
2) Reason for question 1 - I may be paying the rent & security deposit initially with cash since I have not set up my US bank account. If I do that, is the landlord obliged to provide me with an official receipt?
3) What are the potential risk of paying with cash?
4) Is the landlord obliged to show that they have deposited the security deposit in an escrow account?
Thank you

Help the community by answering this question:

+ web reference
Web reference:


Dan Tabit, Agent, Issaquah, WA
Thu Feb 13, 2014
Take some time and set up a US Bank account. Ally and other major banks can get you set up online if you aren't here yet. Since there are so many scams, be very careful and if you think you've found an outrageous bargain and are going to be taking care of a home for someone who is overseas doing charity or mission work, don't believe it.
Agents can help you with rentals, so you don't have to do it by yourself. If you have an employer here, they may assist you with a relocation specialist. Best of luck and welcome to the US.
1 vote
Steven Ornel…, Agent, Fremont, CA
Fri Feb 14, 2014
Hi Sherrie,

I most definitely agree with Dan; rental scams are a BIG problem.

You have a number of questions above and I'm sure you will have more as time progresses. I believe you will find the following document quite valuable as you move forward: http://docs.steven-anthony.com/Landlord-TenantGuideCA2012.pdf
-- Steve
0 votes
J Mario Preza, Agent, Daly City, CA
Fri Feb 14, 2014
What may seem obvious has become clouded by the many schemes and schemers that go around trying to pry your money just because. If you're looking for a rental and find a suitable place there aren't any "official" types of things a landlord or property manager must give you, nor are there safety measures to protect your cash, but you can proactively do your due diligence by asking for these things, or even checking the county records to see who the recorded owner is beforehand.
0 votes
Search Advice
Ask our community a question

Email me when…

Learn more