Rental and lease scams are common in India. Here’s how to protect yourself and your money.
Over the years, the Indian real estate market has grown a lot, thanks to a growing population and rapid urbanization. With more people looking for places to rent, there are bound to be more renting and lease scams. Fraudsters use the same tricks over and over again, so it’s important to know what they are and take steps to avoid falling for them. In this piece, we’ll explain how rental and lease scams work in India and give you ways to keep yourself and your money safe.
Typical cons in rental and lease contracts:
1. Making up listings:
Fraudulent ads are one of the most common types of rental scams. Scammers often make fake ads for attractive rental properties that are cheaper than the market rate to get renters who don’t know what’s going on. Most of the time, these ads are on popular websites like property portals or classified ads sites.
2. Requests to make a deal:
Fraudsters may try to trick people who want to rent by giving even lower rents or asking for payments in advance. They often say that more than one person is interested in the property, which puts pressure on the person to send the money quickly to seal the deal.
3. Theft of an identity:
Some con artists go beyond stealing people’s money and steal their identities. They use fake IDs to pretend to be property owners or agents, and then they trick renters into giving them sensitive personal information for illegal reasons.
4. Rental Frauds:
In subletting scams, con artists pretend to be renters who need to sublet their property for reasons like moving or not having enough money. They take the deposit and advance rent from possible subtenants, but then either leave without giving them access to the property or stay there and collect rent from more than one person.
How to protect yourself from rental scams:
1. Doing research and getting a photo ID:
Before you sign a lease, you should find out as much as you can about the property and the owner. Cross-check information from different sources to make sure the property is real. Ask for photos or videos of the property to make sure it fits the description.
2. Inspection in person:
If you can, go look at the place in person. This lets you confirm that the property exists, see how it looks, and meet the landlord or their approved representative in person.
3. Beware of payments made up front:
Don’t make any big payments up front without checking them out first. Be wary of renters or agents who demand payment right away without giving you enough time to do your research.
4. Paperwork for the law:
Make sure that all rental and lease deals are written down on papers that can be used in court. Before you sign the agreement, get help from a professional to make sure it is valid and to understand the terms and conditions.
5. Checking the authenticity:
Always ask the landlord for proof that you own the property or permission to do so. Make sure the papers are real by checking with the right government agencies.
6. Checking the past:
Check the owner or real estate agency’s past. Look up their names to see if there have been any reports or frauds in the past. Online reviews or ratings from former tenants can tell you a lot about a landlord’s image.
India’s rental and lease market has a lot to offer, but it’s important to stay alert and careful to avoid falling for scams. By taking the above precautions, people who want to rent an apartment can protect themselves from scams and keep their money safe. Also, letting the police know about any suspicious behavior can help make rental safer for everyone.