Avoid a rental home scam by following these 6 tips

Rental scams are still happening across Southwest Florida and across the country.

Looking for the perfect rental can be a joy or a nightmare, so some experts provide some tips on how you can protect yourself when hunting down a rental home.

Their suggestions:

1.) Make contact with the person listing the property. Have a conversation about the property and get as many details as you can.

2.) Get photos sent to you as texts and make sure they match up with the listing as described online.

3.) Ask for references to contact someone who has stayed at that property before and can verify it really matches your expectations.

4.) If you cannot get down to a property yourself, ask a friend who lives in the area to drive by and take a look for you.

5.) If all else fails and you can’t see the property in person, use Google Maps’ Street View to make sure the house actually exists. There have been infamous horror stories about people getting scammed by false listings for shore rentals that weren’t actually there.

6) Make sure there is a contract. Figure out exactly what is included in the rental. Does the house have wifi? Are pets allowed? Do you have to bring your own sheets and towels? Are beach tags included?

And finally, keep one adage in mind: If you’re looking online for a property and it seems too good to be true, it probably is.

Story localized from original reporting by CBS2’s Meg Baker.

Author: CBS2 / WINK News
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