Let me tell you, from personal traumatic experience, that there is nothing worse than being scammed while house-hunting.
You're left broke and utterly traumatised.
You'll never trust another landlord or subletter for as long as you live but you'll also develop a new level of street wisdom that'll prevent ever getting screwed over again.
With accommodation prices on the rise again, the Dublin rental market is ablaze so with that, we here at Sroomm thought it would be a good time to give you guys some advice about how NOT to get scammed...
The major red flags to look out for are the following:
- The scammer claims to be out of the country and can't show you the property yet requests a deposit - oldest trick in the book, nice try
- The scammer is living at the property, shows a number of people around, collects deposits from several people and proceeds to disappear with the money
- The transaction appears normal until the renter finds that the keys don't work and the landlord has disappeared.
Now once know what red flags to keep an eye out for, here are our top 6 tips.
- Ideally only do business with established bon-fide rental agencies
- Always meet a prospective landlord in the accommodation to be rented
- Ask for the agent's/landlord's identification - driver's licence etc - awkward af in the moment but again, better safe than sorry. Gardaí recommend you take a pic on your phone
- Use cheques or bank drafts to pay the deposit and keep copies of receipts of payment and any correspondence
- Pay the deposit directly to the landlord and the person moving out of the property before you/a courier/any other person.
- Ensure keys fit - open the door lock and sign rental contract prior to payment of deposit.