4 Practical Pointers for Preventing Rental Scams on Commercial Spaces

Couple rented a home

Couple rented a home

You might have heard horror stories of landlords being scammed or ripped off by their tenants. But did you know that the opposite could happen as well? Some tenants are scammed or cheated out of their hard-earned money by their landlords, and many times, they won’t know until it’s too late. What’s worse is that some even fail to even live in the property that they paid in advance for.

Here are a few ways on how you can avoid falling into that trap.

Get Tenant Representation

Property buyers can hire brokers to protect themselves from bogus sellers. In the same way, those who plan to lease spaces can enlist tenant representation services. Not everyone who presents themselves as a landlord or owner is actually who they say they are.

Tenant representatives do the background checks and the reading of fine print for you, making sure that you’re going to get what you’re paying for. This service is especially useful when you’re talking big deals such as negotiating an office lease in Utah.

Know Your Rights

Couple consulting

While a representative will take care of you while choosing a property to rent, it doesn’t hurt to know your rights as a tenant. Many people and even businesses are fooled by fake or greedy owners and landlords simply because they didn’t know any better.

There’s almost no knowledge of how much rent can be charged, what should be done with deposits, and even who’s responsible for the care of certain parts of the property. Basic knowledge of tenant rights is one of the simplest yet most effective defenses you have, and you should start brushing up on it now.

Do Your Research

It’s not enough to just know what you’re entitled to as a tenant. Avoiding the people in question is also part of defending against them. What better way to do that than looking up information on your potential landlords, right? Find out if the property they’re renting out exists and if it’s actually available for lease. If you can, run a background check on the people involved as well. After you’ve gathered the data you need, you can filter out those who are questionable.

Write Everything Down

One of the many ways tenants can be fooled is through purely spoken agreements. As they don’t have proof of what they agreed upon with the owner, they lose their chance to defend themselves properly in case they get ripped off.

Never accept a verbal-only agreement between you and the landlord. If it’s part of your protocol that you put business and service contracts in black and white, then why would you treat this kind of deal differently? Insisting that you write down all agreements that you have on paper can also serve as a test for them. If they don’t comply, then chances are they’re trying to hide something.

Knowledge is your main defense against rental scams, so you should gather as much information about tenancy and your potential landlords as you can. It also pays to be careful and exercise due diligence. Even if it’s just leasing you’re talking about, in the end, it’s you and your business that will have to spend money on it. It’s best to put your expenses in the right place.

Read more at The Earth Awards.