Apartment Rental Service Scams to Avoid
This world is full of con artists just looking for that next person they can scam. As of late, many people have been “conned” or “scammed” in apartment rental service scams. By reading and following this article, hopefully you won’t be one of those people who get scammed in this way. You need to know what to avoid in the way of rental scams. There are many signs that you can watch for. more ...
Your Guide to Apartment Rental Services
Finding an apartment can be a challenge. Location, location, location is the saying in real estate. You want to find the right neighborhood with a good proximity to your work. You want to find the right location in an apartment building; top floor, ground level or facing away from the street. You want to find the location that you will call home. When you are moving, finding an apartment rental service can aid in your search.
What is an Apartment Rental Service?
The right connections will get you everywhere. A good apartment rental service has the team and the network to find you the right apartment. The agent with whom you work will have a deep knowledge of the community, be in close contact with many apartment property managers and be able to understand your needs in relation to your budget.
Why Would You Work With an Apartment Rental Service?
Moving is stressful. You have to do a lot of research in order to find the right place. Do you have the time to cross reference your work, your favorite Starbucks, your preferred grocery store and your new apartments address? Have you even been to the area that you will be moving into? Do you have the time to do the background research on an apartment company before the apartment gets taken off the market? You don't want to jump blindly into an apartment rental agreement. Working with a trusted agent means that you will be able to have all your questions about location, the company, the building and the amenities answered by a pro all at once.
How Does an Apartment Rental Service Work?
When you register with an apartment rental service they should ask you about what you're looking for:
- How is Your Credit Score?
The agent will take you to visit many apartments and should be poised to answer any questions you have.
What Should You Look For in an Apartment Rental Service?
You want to be sure that the apartment rental agent is working for you and not for a building. You should look for a company that has a wide variety of buildings to show you. Look for an agent that stays within your budget. If you said you wanted to spend $2,000 but everything they show is over that price, you should find a new agent. When choosing an apartment rental company you should ask these important questions:
- What are the services you offer to clients?
- What is the process of working with you?
- Can you provide information about the neighborhoods?
- When are you available?
- How can I get the best rate on my rental?
- How will you save me money?
How Much Does an Apartment Rental Service Cost?
Many apartment rental services advertise that they're free. However, you must be aware how far this "free" service goes. Some services are only free to show you what is out there. While this sounds helpful, you cannot rent what you see and still have the service be free. The fee comes in when you rent the apartment. Apartment Rental Services make their money in two ways:
- A fee from you
- A fee from the management company of the building
A fee from you comes in the form of a commission and is typically referred to as a broker fee. This may be equal to a percentage of the rent for the lease term or to one or two months of rent when you have signed the new lease on the apartment that they showed you. When you sign up with the apartment rental service you should be sure to read the fine print which could include a fee agreement. This agreement will state what you owe them. It can also state that you cannot rent the apartment that they showed you on your own within 180 days. This is to stop potential clients from seeing an apartment and then trying to go directly to the management company and cut out the apartment agent.
A fee from the management company would mean a commission that you do not directly pay. Instances where this can occur are when apartment rental managers do not have the time or staff to show apartments. Also, this could be a new building or building that has changed hands and wants to get a new positive buzz out about it through the neighborhood.
Can I Rent an Apartment on my Own?
Yes. However, you will want to be sure to do all of the legwork that the apartment rental service is doing for you. You will be renting for a year or more; make sure you are renting the right home.