Avoid Falling Victim to Rental Scams

PUBLISHED 12 JUL 2019   

How to Avoid Falling Victim to a Rental Scam for Flats in Pretoria Central


It seems that we’re hearing more and more of hard-working, honest tenants being taken for expensive rides with rental scams. How devastating it must be to pitch up at your newly rented flat in Pretoria Central, only to realise that you have no legal claim to the property at all. You can prevent falling victim to scams like these by adopting a sensible approach to finding Pretoria Central flats to rent.


Rental scams are on the rise, and unfortunately, many South Africans are still falling for them. While there is a healthy dose of scepticism among South Africans who are targeted with the garden-variety scams of people wanting a “small fee” for a massive lottery or estate pay out to a lucky beneficiary, many people still seem to be vulnerable to falling victim to rental scams for flats.


A tell-tale sign that you’re dealing with a likely scam is a badly written email with poor grammar, or other communication that is fraught with errors. But what happens if the scam email or ad is well-written, and even sounds plausible? Property scams are real, and many people still fall for them. Scam artists are getting smarter, using a property with a complete description and photographs to draw their victims in. They may even advertise on a legitimate and popular rental website. So how can you spot a scam, and prevent being duped?


Keep Your Wits About You When Looking for Flats to Rent in Pretoria Central


Quite frequently, the rental amount listed on these flats will be lower than average, with the photos depicting a beautiful home. When contacted, the “agent” or “landlord” will required the applicant to fill in an application, supported by many types of documents. Everything seems to be above board at this stage, but it’s here when things can go awry if the “agency” starts asking for application fees and a deposit, so you can secure the property, before even viewing it!


There will usually be an element of urgency behind the entire interaction with the agent. It usually follows the same script: it’s a beautiful property in a prime location, priced extremely competitively in a hot market, and you’ll lose out on it if you don’t secure it with a deposit. Unfortunately, it’s first-come, first-serve, if you don’t secure it today, you’ll most probably lose out on it by tomorrow. Please send proof of payment urgently.


To throw you off the scent even further, scammers might even arrange a viewing with you, to put your mind at ease. They’ll then likely pull out at the last minute by coming up with some semi-plausible excuse as to why they weren’t able to make the appointment. Another scenario could be where the landlord or agent might profess to be out-of-town, thus being unable to offer a viewing until they’re back in town.


What Does a Genuine Rental Deal Look Like?


In a genuine rental agreement, no money exchanges hands until the tenant has set foot in the property, and met the agent or landlord in person. Anyone demanding money beforehand should be avoided, irrespective of how professional they may come across. Savvy property owners and rental agencies will require specific information from prospective tenants before offering them a rental agreement – everything from proof of employment and income, to references from past landlords.

Of course, the best way to ensure that you won’t be taken for a ride is to partner with a reputable rental agency with a long track record of excellence. This is exactly what you’ll receive from us. Contact us for help in finding the best flats for rent in Pretoria Central, and for all the help and insight needed to navigate the often-overwhelming rental sector. We look forward to helping you find your next home in Pretoria Central.