Head’s up, there’s a new scam in the landlord / tenant world. Funnily enough it involves Nigerians emailing you to send them money overseas.
Fredericksburg, VA Realtor Sarah Stelmok found her own house (which she was living in at the time) listed online as a rental. She did a little digging, chronicled it on her blog, and found …. well, you can read it yourselves. It’s long but shockingly difficult to stop reading.
If you’re a tenant looking for a rental home, do yourself a favor. Check out that the person you’re dealing with is actually the owner of the home. Check tax records in Maricopa County (which covers most of metro Phoenix) to make sure the name on the tax records is the person you’re dealing with.
If the landlord is working through a property manager or Realtor, make sure at some point you see a document that grants the manager/Realtor the right to represent the landlord. The landlord and his/her representative should have both signed that document, and it should have a begin and end date.
It’s a wild world out there. Remember that if it seems fishy it probably is.