1 March 2016

Renter Radar: Ways to Avoid Bad or Fraudulent Landlords

If you didn’t trust a potential landlord you wouldn’t likely sign a rental contract or pay deposits. But how do you determine if a
landlord is an honest person who will deal with you fairly?
Life would be so much easier if you had radar for detecting deceit. Minus an antenna on top of your head, here are some
methods for spotting danger when seeking rental homes in Las Vegas.

Research Before Signing

The legal website NOLO recommends a number of steps to take before completing a rental agreement.

These include:
-Talking with current tenants and nearby neighbors of the rental property
-Using online rental rating sites to check scores for your potential landlord’s company
-Googling the landlord’s and manager’s names and
-Searching county courthouse records for signs of foreclosure.
That last step may seem like taking it too far. However, a landlord in financial trouble sometimes doesn’t make mortgage
payments. This puts a renter in the awkward position of living in a property the bank may foreclose on at any time and
struggling to break their lease with the crummy landlord.

Get a BBB Report Card
Another good idea is to call the Southern Nevada branch of the Better Business Bureau to request information about any
complaints on file concerning the landlord’s company.
You can also search the BBB online. To do this, fill in the business’ name and address or zip code on the BBB’s homepage. On the
next page, look for the link that says “Read BBB’s Headquarter’s Review.” Click on it to get a brief review giving the company a
rating between A+ and F.
If your potential landlord or his property manager won’t give you a business name that may be a bad sign in itself.

Flush Out Fakes
Let the renter beware. Some people make their living by ripping off others who are searching for rentals. Here are some signs
that you may be connecting with a criminal instead of a landlord.
Placing an Online Ad that Sounds too Good to Be True. Online rental ads that sound too good to be true probably aren’t. Be
wary of ads that offer underpriced rentals. Be extra wary if the landlord claims to live far away and requires a deposit before s/he
will let you see the rental or give you the keys.
Not Giving You a Tour of the Rental. Not being allowed to tour a rental before signing a contract or making a deposit is a huge
red flag. Don’t get wrapped up in it. It may be that the property doesn’t exist. Or if the property is real, it may not be on the
market or someone else may be the legitimate landlord.
If you know that the person refusing the tour is the real landlord, other troubling possibilities arise. Signing a contract without a
tour makes you vulnerable to property defects that the landlord may be reluctant to fix.
Not Providing a Rental Agreement. A fake landlord may tell you that a rental agreement isn’t necessary. Even if the landlord is
real, business on a handshake is a terrible idea. A good rental agreement protects you as well as your landlord.
Seeking Payment in Cash. What if the landlord also asked to be paid in cash? This could be a sign of a fake or of a property
owner with money troubles.

Listen to Other Tenants & Neighbors
What goes around comes around. If a landlord is bad to his or her tenants, they share the information with others.
NOLO suggests talking with the tenants who are departing the rental. Ask about their experiences with the landlord regarding
matters such as timely response to repair requests, especially for basics such as heating and air conditioning. After all, Las Vegas
is desert country that can be chilly or searing hot.
Another good question concerns whether they are experiencing any difficulty in getting back their damage deposit.
If the former tenants aren’t available and the rental is an apartment, stop by the building at the end of the workday to discretely
talk with others living there. You can also try talking with nearby neighbors about whether they’ve heard anything good or bad
about the rental property and its management.

Consider Property Management Services for Renters
Seeking support from a property management firm that assists tenants is another consideration. At
Las Vegas Property Management, we can help you every step of the way in finding a great rental.

This includes:
-Arranging and accompanying you on property tours
-Aiding submission of the rental application and helping you through the approval process
-There were no Copyscape matches found.
-Making sure your proposed rental isn’t shown to others after you make a holding deposit and
-Ensuring that your future home is up to code, clean and in good order.
Even though you’re developing radar for averting rotten rental deals, we can help you. Please contact us for a free consultation
and a happier home-hunting experience.

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