How to Avoid Online Rental Scams in Maryland

The internet makes many things easier, but using it to manage your life carries some safety and financial concerns. When you are looking for a new apartment to rent, an important safety rule for your online activity is to question everything. In particular, look out for common rental scams that target Maryland residents. 

Watch Out for Low Rental Rates

When it comes to protecting yourself from rental scams, understanding Maryland’s landlord-tenant laws will help. Additionally, react suspiciously to listings that seem too good to be true. A rental rate that’s considerably lower than the rates for similar properties in the area can serve as a warning. 

A low rate suggests there’s something wrong with the property or a tenant is attempting to illegally sublet the unit. If you view the property and you’re still interested in renting it, verify that the person you meet has the legal authority to lease the unit.

Avoid Out-of-Town Property Owners

It’s common for property owners to live out of state, but they should provide email addresses and phone numbers for routine communication. Even better, they should hire a local property management firm to oversee the property on their behalf. 

If you have trouble communicating with the property owner as you attempt to rent the property, assume those issues will worsen once you sign the rental agreement.

Never Wire Funds or Submit Payment Without a Rental Agreement

A property owner might ask you to wire funds or pay in cash. View this request with suspicion even if they promise to send the keys and rental agreement in exchange. Nothing prevents an unscrupulous property owner from making this agreement with several applicants just to get their funds.

In some cases, the individual might not own property to lease to you. They could use stock photos to create the listing and convince you to send them money to lease a property that doesn’t exist. Always finalize the rental agreement in person and pay with a check or money order. 

Turn to Trusted Property Managers in Maryland

Reliable Property Management provides services for property owners and tenants. To learn more about our services for tenants, contact us online or call (443) 869-3799.