Is it safe to deal with Owners who want to lease or rent you a house who is out of town and request to send money to get the keys?

Asked by Julie E Durk, Los Angeles, CA Sun Jul 24, 2011

1. Is it safe for a Renter who have never seen the inside of the house other then online and want to lease it send requested money to an Owner of the house while he/she is out of the Country for two years?

2. Is it safe for one to send a deposit on a house to and owner who is out of the Country you never seen, but in good faith they will send you back the keys and Rental Agreement?

3. Is safe to send all your requested information ( Name, ID, SS) to an out of the Country Owner in order to get the keys and document to lease their house?.

4. Should a Renter do a Criminal background check on Owners before they lease from them?

5. Should a Renter do a Criminal background check on Managers that leases out property for Owners?

6. Should a Renter do a Criminal background check on all Rental Apartment Maintainers that works for the Apartment you live in?

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Anthony Tull…, Agent, Carson, CA
Mon Aug 8, 2011
If you have to ask, you know the answer. Doubt means dont (agreed with Ashley).
0 votes
Tracy, Both Buyer And Seller, Oakland, CA
Sat Aug 6, 2011
This is a common scam. DO NOT SEND MONEY TO THE "OWNER", until you have established that he does indeed own the property and you have seen the rental. Don't send any information either. In fact, just assume that an "owner" who is out of the country and promises to send you keys is in fact a scam artist.
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Cathy Sloan, Agent, Jacksonville, FL
Wed Aug 3, 2011
If you do 1 & 2 above you will loose your money. Do not rent a property from someone who cannot meet you at the property and let you in to view.

If you do number 3 plan to loose your idenity.

Where have you been the past few years? Never, Never, Never do 1,2 & 3 above.

If the rent is way below the going rate for the area, its a big red flag for you to walk away. If the rent is too good to be true, the home way too nice. RESIST. You are about to be scammed.

As far as #4, 5 & 6 The Scammers use the real names of the individuals who own the property. Crooks are pretty good at searching pubic records to get the data they need to scam you.
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Ashley Sacke…, Agent, Los Angeles, CA
Wed Aug 3, 2011
Hi Julie,

Doubt means don't! If something feels sketchy, it probably is.

Good luck!
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Dorene Slavi…, Agent, Torrance, CA
Wed Jul 27, 2011
Dear Julie,
Be safe!
Do not mail money to a person out of the country (or in) that you don't know and have never met. Never send out SSI numbers anyplace that is a given. I don't like the sound of any of this. A criminal background check on a landlord...hum....?Sounds like a movie.
Do yourself a favor and speak to a Realtor. Your agent will know the owners, have seen the property and likely has leased it before. Work with someone in your neighborhood that is known and who knows the area.
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, ,
Sun Jul 24, 2011
I think you are getting a little carried away with all the background checks. Common sense tells you not to do this. I've been told that this scam has been perpetuated through Craig's List for several years.

Best wishes, Rudi
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Scott Godzyk, Agent, Manchester, NH
Sun Jul 24, 2011
JULIE teh answer is a BIG NO!!! do not send any money to out of town owners unless you met them, confirmed they are the owner and they are not in foreclsoure. NEVER mail or wore money out of the country, 99% chance it is a scam. Especially if they say they will mail you the keys, i wouldnt walk away, i would run away. Use a local and trusted rental company or property manager, beware of rental ads online!!!!
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Ruth and Per…, Agent, Los Gatos, CA
Sun Jul 24, 2011
Hi Julie

You list yourself as a Landlord and post these questions, may we ask why?

Too many scams going on, so I trust as a landlord you know the answers.

Good luck.
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Diane Wheatl…, Agent, Upland, CA
Sun Jul 24, 2011
Well, let me think........1. no 2. no 3. no 4. yes 5. yes 6. if you believe there is a reason to do so.

Diane Wheatley, Broker
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