Flat rent. How to avoid scammers

When the need arises to rent housing, most people use advertisements in the newspaper or on the Internet, and only a small percentage of applicants contact an agency. Yes, such a search is less expensive, but the risk of falling for scammers increases several times.

In this article, we will look at the most common ways that clients are lured by scammers, how you can expose them and save your money and nerves.

  Excellent apartments at low cost

Great photos and low cost

These are two practically incompatible concepts; if the apartment has a European-quality renovation with luxurious finishing, then the cost of renting it should correspond to the pricing policy of the given region. In this case, you should check whether the same apartment is for rent, but in another city. Ideal photographs can be taken from an Internet resource; when the transaction is completed online, the client is left without money and without an apartment.

To check the photo for authenticity, you can use special Google Images services. You just need to insert a link to the photo into the search bar, and the system will show available analogues on the Internet.

Apartments – phantoms

Many scammers use the method of posting photos that are not online, but the apartment is also not available in reality. Such housing is phantom. Clients are attracted by good conditions and low prices. The specifics of deception can have two resolutions:

  • first – realtors get access to your data: phone, address, email. After which they begin mailing and calling, offering other more expensive options. And the apartment that initially interested you will no longer be available;
  • second, scammers will use any means to extort a partial advance payment to ensure that you do not refuse. This is the most unfavorable option, which ends in 100% failure.

You should be as careful as possible and not be led by emotions and momentary desires. Think it over several times or ask for help. You should not make any advance payment without signing a lease agreement.

Phantom housing

Residential space with multiple rentals

Renting out housing to several clients at once is another way of fraud. Its essence is that the owner of a real apartment takes an advance payment for it from one or more potential tenants. The contract, of course, is not documented in any way and, as a result, one client moves into one apartment, and after a while – a second and third. In this case, you need to either somehow divide the square meters, or say goodbye to the prepayment and look for a new living space.

To avoid getting into such a situation, cash payments are made after a detailed study of the contract and its signing. It’s better to carry out all financial transactions through a bank, then you will have all the necessary documentation on hand if the need arises to prove your rights.

Non-existent agencies

A very successful fraud scheme, when an office is rented to a pseudo-realtor, who concludes transactions and signs the agreement on his own behalf. He takes advance payment for 1, 2, 3 or more months. Such a realtor warns the person that they can only move in a week after the apartment is vacated by the previous owners. This is a very convincing manipulation; the potential owner may even be given a duplicate key to a non-existent apartment. And after one week, the office is vacated and the realtor disappears.


If you need to rent an apartment or house, you should use the services of only trusted agencies with many years of experience. All documentation should be checked for compliance, if necessary, by contacting the appropriate specialist.

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