How to Avoid Being the Victim of a Rental Scam | Houses For Sale In Maple Grove Mn

You scoured the internet for the perfect rental. And then—jackpot. The unit is nicer than the others out there, and the price is somehow lower. The landlord isn’t able to show you the property, but will mail the keys once you share your social security number and a money order.
You’ve got to snatch up a great deal when you see one, right? Hold up. When a deal sounds too great, that’s a rental scam red flag. Here are some ways to avoid falling victim to one—and what to do if you already have.
What It’s Like to Be Scammed, FirsthandWhat might a rental scam look like? It can take different forms. We’ve heard a series of common themes from people who shared their stories with Trulia.
Landlord on the Lam
Does the landlord say he’s sick, temporarily out of the country, or otherwise unable to meet in person?
“I was frantically looking for a house just a few months ago,” recalls Deborah. “I found that not only do scammers rent a place several times over, they also have a template for the out-of-town landlord’s reason for being unavailable and a rental questionnaire. I saw the same one eight times—word for word the same, except for the names and the location of landlord’s supposed emergency. Not only out of town, but out of the country! They even had legitimate company logos and emails, making verification difficult.”
Property Switch
When you’re looking for a house in one state, it’s perfectly reasonable to settle for a house in another state, settle for a house in another state, right? That’s what one scammer thought.
“The big tip off for me was that after he read and answered my Craigslist ad for an apartment at the Jersey Shore, he offered me a house in Kentucky,” says Gayle. “I said that was too far from where I wanted to be, so a day or so later he emailed about a small house and address in the area I was looking. But since he was living in Texas for medical treatment for his daughter and he didn’t trust anyone to handle the property, I [couldn’t] go in… I Googled the property and found it was indeed for rent—but it was a three-bedroom house, not apartment.”
Credit Check Needed
A scam is probably in the works when the so-called landlord so-called landlord starts digging for personal information before you’ve even laid eyes on the property.
“I just posted on [Facebook] that I needed a home for rent,” explains Emily. “The next day, a woman asks if I’m looking for a house and tells me the details and blah blah blah. Even said there’s a bad credit fee. I Googled the address, and every other address came up with a street view—just not the one she gave me. I asked if we could view the place before filling out an application and paying the [application] fee. She said no, only after getting approved! What?!”
Signs of Rental Red FlagsHow can you spot a rental scam before it becomes a costly mistake? Here are a few signs that something could be off.
You’re asked to wire money before seeing the property.
If you’re asked to fork over a security deposit or first and last month’s rent before even seeing the property—or the supposed landlord—stop. Money should only be exchanged after viewing the property and signing a proper lease.
They offer excuses.
When a potential landlord has a long list of excuses for why they can’t meet you in person, there’s a good chance they aren’t who they say they are.
You see the same rental listing with different information.
Sometimes scammers will hijack an existing rental ad and repost with a much more attractive— and probably unreasonable—price. If you see multiple listings with conflicting information, that’s a clear sign of a scam.
They ask for personal information first.
Handing over your social security number or other personal information to the wrong person can spell doom for your credit. If a potential landlord says it’s a requirement before even setting eyes on the property, that’s a good reason to run the other way.
You’ve Been Scammed. Now What?Whether you were able to avoid the swindle, or the scam became clear after you got burned, here are a few steps for moving forward.
Stop communicating with the scammer.
Once you notice red flags, cease all communication and provide no further information. Anger and frustration may tempt you to let the scammer know you’re on to them, but your main concern should be protecting yourself and your personal information.
Flag the listing.
Let the listing site know when you’ve spotted a fraudulent ad so other renters don’t get caught in the same situation. To flag a Trulia listing, click the “Report this Listing” link on the listing page. The Trulia team will then review your claim for accuracy and determine next steps.
Report the scam to the local authorities and the FTC.
If a scammer was successful and you handed over money or personal information, it’s important to let the local authorities know, as well as the Federal Trade Commission. The information you provide could help them apprehend the scammer, bolster an existing case, or lay the foundation for prosecuting in the future.
Share your story.
Sharing your story and alerting other renters to the tips and tricks of scammers could help others avoid the same trouble. When you become savvy to the tricks of rental scammers and tell others about your experiences, you make it harder for rental scammers and easier for your fellow renters. Is there a way you were scammed that we haven’t shared above? Tell us in the comments below so other people in the Trulia community can protect themselves.
Is there a way you were scammed that we haven’t shared above? Tell us in the comments below so other people in the Trulia community can protect themselves.We can help with your home search.Receive weekly news, advice, listings, and neighborhood info by email. Sign Me Up * A valid email address is required.* That email address is already in use. Please log in to update your email preferences.* Something went wrong. Sign up with a valid email address to continue.

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6 Tiny Houses for Rent Right Now | Raleigh Nc Houses For Sale

There’s no escaping the tiny home craze. While many attribute the trend’s exponential growth to the near-universal appeal of cutting down on household clutter, don’t overlook the appeal of their look. They’re just so darn cute. A similarly-sized apartment, no matter how cleverly designed, simply can’t compare to the storybook quality of an adorable cottage.
Tempted to try out the tiny home trend for yourself? Trulia has rounded up tiny houses for rent from California to Massachusetts that let you try on the stylishly small way of life. Even better, each is located in a centrally-located neighborhood so the spatial sacrifice will seem minimal.

1. Fairytale Cottage on Bainbridge Island
8260 NE High School Rd., Bainbridge Island, WA 98110
With its lush landscape and small-town feel, Bainbridge Island is the kind of beautiful place that looks as if it were the inspiration for a storybook. So, it’s only fitting that you’d find a home here that belongs in an enchanting tale. This two-bedroom, one-bath cottage is pure whimsy, from the curvaceous roofline that seems straight from an illustrator’s pen, to the waterwheel that graces the side of the property. Walk through the delightful curved doorway and you’ll find an unexpected sight: a contemporary interior with an adaptable open floor plan. The home’s location across the street from a Montessori school and down the street from the local high school makes it a wonderful choice for a small family. However, anyone will enjoy being within two miles from the charming downtown, where you’ll also find the ferry to Seattle.

2. Blue-and-White Charmer
824 Sacramento St., Vallejo, CA 94590
Culture’s right around the corner from this two-bedroom, one-bath home in Vallejo. A Sunday stroll down Main Street can take you to the Vallejo Naval and Historical Museum, the historic Empress Theatre, The Hub Vallejo arts center or the Artiszen Cultural Arts Center. But the best reason to live in Vallejo is six blocks from your door: the ferry, which takes you directly to San Francisco in an hour. After your scenic commute, you’ll love coming home to your updated urban cottage. From its fresh blue-and-white exterior to its roomy open floor plan, this rental has that homey feel.

3. Gorgeous Getaway in Charleston
8 Ropemakers Lane, Charleston, SC 29401
The tiny carriage home of your dreams awaits in the heart of Charleston. This two-story, 800-square-foot brick home is beautiful enough for a postcard, right down to the wrought iron gate and lush paths leading up to the inviting front door. The interior is just as gorgeous, equipped with a breakfast bar, two fireplaces, and a bedroom big enough for a queen bed—a rarity in most tiny homes. To make the most of the space (and your historic Charleston surroundings), consider having your meals on the stone-paved patio out front.

4. Tropical-Inspired Cottage in Houston
402 W Cottage St., Houston, TX 77009
Though Austin gets all the love for indie-cool attractions, Houston’s Greater Heights neighborhood has a thriving entertainment district that offers a small sampling of that interesting mix of creative cafés and boutiques. Specifically, you’ll find most of the action on and around W 19th Street. This hip shopping stretch is within 2 miles of this darling two-bedroom, one-and-a-half-bath home on the aptly-named Cottage Street—meaning you’re close enough to drive, but not so close that you’re around the noise. Need a night in? This rental is your haven. The bonus sun room would make a great home library, but the best feature might be the backyard tropical oasis. Brew up a pot of coffee with beans from local favorite Boomtown Coffee, queue up a record from Vinal Edge Records and enjoy a lazy Saturday.

5. Laguna Beach Stunner
232 Woodland Dr., Laguna Beach, CA 92651
Though Laguna Beach became famous for the reality show of the same name, you’d be surprised that it’s not all mansions here. There are an unusually high number of jewel box-like smaller homes that have plenty of character—though their price still puts them in the luxury category. Such is the case for this stunning two-bedroom, one-and-a-half bath home. Originally built in 1928, this rental boasts stained glass windows, a designer kitchen, and a roomy master bedroom with walk-in closet. Though you’re a quick drive down Laguna Canyon Road to all of the chic restaurants and shops of downtown (not to mention the beach), your cottage may become the hotspot for gatherings with friends. It’s all thanks to the outdoor dining room, which looks out upon a well-designed garden filled with fruit trees.

6. Sunshine State Sweetie
10803 Vireo Circle, Estero, FL 33928
When your home is 432 square feet, it’s great to have plenty of activities right outside your front door. Corkscrew Woodlands is a gated 55+ community that pretty much offers it all, from a huge clubhouse with a pool and tennis court to an 18-hole mini-golf course. Want to take in a gorgeous sunset over the Gulf coast? No problem, because this 1-bedroom, 1-bath home is in driving distance to some of Florida’s best beaches, including Estero Island, Sanibel Island, Fort Myers Beach, and Naples.

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How to Break a Lease Without Paying Fees | Houses For Sale Naples Fl

When you signed your lease, you probably had every intention of staying in the rental for the full term. But sometimes life throws you a curveball and you’ve got to move before your lease is up. We answer the frequently asked question, “How to break a lease without paying fees?” to help you out in case you find yourself in that exact situation.
Signing a lease to rent a house or apartment means you need to abide by the lease terms. That includes paying the total rent for the entire period. For example, say you agreed to pay $1,500 per month on a 12-month lease. You’re really agreeing to pay $18,000 to live in the rental unit for a year. But instead of paying all that up front, you agree to pay this sum in 12 equal installments of $1,500 per month. If you need to move out early, here’s how to break a lease without paying fees.
5 Ways to Get Out of Your Lease1. Talk to your landlord.
If you want to break your lease early—no matter the reason—tell your landlord immediately. They may be amenable to it. Why? If you’re in a hot market, your landlord may be able to quickly find a new tenant willing to pay a higher rent.
Or maybe your lease ends during the winter, which isn’t a great time for a landlord to find a new tenant. If you offer to leave early—in the spring or summer, for example—he or she might let you out of your lease because it’s typically easier to find new renters during warmer months.
Even if your landlord isn’t thrilled about you leaving early, telling them as soon as you know is still the best policy. “Give your landlord as much notice as possible prior to breaking your lease,” says Steven Seigel of The Luxury Team in Florida. “This gives the landlord time to find a new tenant to minimize any loss of income.”
2. Offer to find a replacement.
Many landlords like to screen tenants by conducting background and credit checks, so you can’t expect to just stick anyone in your rental without your landlord’s approval. But it doesn’t hurt to let them know that you either have or would be willing to find another tenant to take over your lease. Your landlord can then conduct his or her normal screening procedure.
Here’s a useful tip from Ryan Hardy, a Chicago real estate agent: “Know your real estate laws. In some cities like Chicago, landlords are required by city ordinance to let you sublet with no penalty.” The caveat is that this ordinance doesn’t apply to single-family homes or properties with fewer than seven units. And the landlord can deny subtenants who don’t meet normal tenant screening standards.
Note that whether you find a replacement tenant or your landlord does, as soon as the new person moves in, you’re off the hook for rent. Landlords can’t double dip by collecting rent from you and the new tenant simultaneously.
3. Consider a compromise.
When it comes to charging fees, the ball is in your landlord’s court. “If you’re contractually bound to paying fees, then your landlord ultimately has the final say,” says Diane Elizabeth, a serial renter. “The best thing you can do is ask directly for the resolution that you want and work amicably with your landlord toward a win-win solution.”
But how would you do that? It helps if you’ve cultivated a good relationship with your landlord from the beginning, by always paying your rent on time, notifying them as soon as possible when there’s a problem with the unit, taking care of the property, and keeping open lines of communication.
You can then sweeten the deal for your landlord by offering to help out. Let your landlord know that you want to work with them, Elizabeth suggests. “Besides offering to help find a replacement tenant, stage the rental and be flexible and available for showings.”
Jeff Roark, property manager and author of How to Find & Keep Great Tenants, says he’s let tenants out of their lease early a couple of times. “In both cases, we located a new, qualified tenant, made the first tenant responsible for cleaning and repairs, and then wrote a new lease for one year, versus having the new tenant take over the balance of the existing lease.”
4. Play hardball.
If your landlord won’t work with you or has tried and failed to find a suitable replacement tenant, you may be on the hook for the balance of the unpaid rent. If that’s the case, you might want to try playing hardball by making sure your landlord is complying to the letter with the landlord-tenant laws for your jurisdiction .
“No matter what’s written on your lease, you’re legally protected by something called the warranty of habitability,” says real estate analyst Emile L’Eplattenier. “By law, your unit must be ‘habitable.’ In other words, free from infestations, have functioning heat and hot water, etc.” If your landlord hasn’t complied with your state or local laws, let them know—they may be willing to let you break your lease early.
5. Go back to your lease.
When all else fails, read the directions, right? The same goes for renting property. Review your lease to see whether there’s an opt-out clause. “This allows you to leave by paying a small fee rather than being responsible for the rent until a new tenant comes along,” says Brentnie Daggett, a rental expert with Rentec Direct.
Have you successfully broken your lease early? Tell us how in the comments.
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