Do you own rentals properties in Silicon Valley? Do you market them on Craigslist? Well, there is no arguing with the reach of Craigslist and the price. But with the option to advertise for free comes some limitation and hazards.
One the limitations of advertising on Craigslist is the fact that Craigslist no longer allows embeded links on images. This makes it difficult to develop creative ads on Craigslist. The other big hazard with Craigslist ads is that scammers use the clone your advertising information to con people.
And here are the top 4 tips to spot rental scams on Craigslist:
1) Low Rent: You should be alarmed if the rent posted for a property is too low compared to similar sized Silicon Valley rental. Unlike a home listing where a low price is often used to attract multiple offers, rental properties advertised too low are clear indications of scam since any qualified applied is entitled to rent the home.
2) Up-Front Fee: If the scammer answering the Craigslist ad asks for up-front fee or a deposits, that’s a clear sign of rental scams.
3) Walk Through: Ask to meet the person answering the Craigslist ad on the property being advertised as a rental. If they refuse to show the rental property, you should avoid them like the Ebola virus.
4) Out-of-Area Landlord: One of the best tricks of the scammers is their inability to show the rental property because the owner is out of the country or out-of-area! The fact is that for $30 dollars they could re-key the property if they were the retained property manager representing the landlord.