Risk of Renting without a professional Realtor

When a rental is offered by a professional Realtor certain standards must be met or the Realtor/Broker will take on additional liability.  Therefor it is much safer to have at least one party represented by a professional real estate agent.  If you are going to rent a home without a realtor please be aware of the following risks.

Various rental websites allow posting ads by anyone.  No proof is needed to claim you are the owner or manager of the property therefore please watch out for the following scams:
  • Homes in foreclosure - collect rent, while waiting for the bank to come and take possession of the house.
  • Bank owned homes that are not being rented out by the bank.  It is very rare that a bank will rent out a home, more likely someone has changed the locks to the home and collecting rent while waiting for the bank to come and put the house on the market.
  • Scam artist who try to take a small deposit up front to hold a property for you (when they aren’t even the owner)
  • Collect applications from properties, to steal your identity.
  • Craigslist Warnings:
  • Watch out for unfair Rental Agreements that:
    • Break california law
    • Are design to keep tenants deposits when the vacate the property
    • Are designed to over charge tenants for damages
    • Don’t respect your privacy