Thinking of Renting a Home off of Craigslist?

Elizabeth Cooper-Golden Huntsville Realtor

by Elizabeth Cooper-Golden

in Consumer Information,Huntsville Community Stuff

Think Again – Huntsville Renters beware!

We get calls nearly every week wanting to know if our rental ad is real on craigslist. We don’t deal in rental property, so the answer is always “NO…it’s a scam”.

I’m thankful that we do get the calls so we can report them. Unfortunately, I’m sure many people don’t report them and many more fall for the tactics.

Scam Artists Scrape Photos and List Rentals

The story usually goes like this:

“Home for rent. We have been transferred out of the area. We can’t meet you at the house, so just drive by. If you like it, send us your deposit and first months rent and we will send you the keys.”

How To Avoid Fraud and Scams

Read the guidelines of avoiding fraud on Craigslist.  It only seems reasonable that you wouldn’t wire funds for a home that you haven’t seen inside or to someone you haven’t met. Common sense tells me that.

Watch Out for Scams

Watch Out for Scams

Recently, a fellow Realtor friend of mine from Phoenix Arizona, The Phoenix Real Estate Guy, decided to have a bit of fun with one of the scammers. This is a true must read. I was laughing hysterically and shocked at the lengths scammers will go to.

Jay Thompson had a great time playing cat and mouse with the scam artist and showed all of us just how bold these jerks can be. Go read his article…click around on recent articles of Jay’s while you are there. Jay has a way of dishing up some very thought provoking articles that will have you chuckling or teary eyed. This man can write!

Holidays Approaching

As the holidays are approaching, scams will be running rampant more than ever. Remember: If it seems to good to be true, it more than likely IS!

If you are searching for rentals in the Huntsville area, hire a rental specialist to assist you in your search. If you need help finding a trusted source, we can give you a list of trusted property management companies in our area.

- Elizabeth

2 comments on “Thinking of Renting a Home off of Craigslist?

  1. Michael Schaffer on said:

    It is extremely important for renters to check into the landlord and property before signing a lease. I run a service,, which gives renters an easy and free way to find out if there are any pre-foreclosure notices filed against their rental property. We also give renters the ability to find out exactly who the owner of record of a property is, what mortgage and other liens are on the property, and also to learn about past bankruptcies and civil and criminal judgments against the landlord. Too many renters don’t think it is important to research the landlord, but a lease is a large financial commitment that shouldn’t be entered into lightly.

    We also provide professional services for property managers, and realtors who manage rental properties or act as a rental agent.

  2. Kristin Ward on said:

    I am really starting to despise craigslist and I’ve never even used the site. Which probably isn’t fair of me since I’m sure they have plenty of legit business. However since my only dealings with the site involve an incident where someone placed an ad on the site for an apartment I had for rent and scammed some guy into believing he had rented the place I may be bit bias. (Just a bit mind you)

    You can image my surprise when a guy shows up and cusses me out because his key doesn’t work in an apartment that is currently vacant.

    The guy that showed up had bad credit when I ran his report through Couldn’t pay the actual price of the rent, the scam was almost 1/2 my asking price, I mean who’s heard of a 2 bedroom apartment in a good area for 450 now a days. No deposit (this I might have been able to work around), bad credit and not enough income. What am I suppose to do? The guy is to high a risk a tenant and I depend on rent to pay my bills.

    I didn’t scam him. Nor did I fall for a scam for an apartment that is ridiculously too low for the area. And yet some how I’m the bad guy. Then of course there is the lovely chat with the cops after the guy got done screaming at me and called them.

    Something has got to be done about the scams. I have made efforts to insure any apartment I have for rent has the information available for anyone bothering to search in hopes it makes it harder for scams. Not much else I can do from my side.

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