This is an article that we originally published on BiggerPockets.com and have revised and updated here for our readers. It is such an important topic for real estate investors and we realize that many of our readers are also active real estate investors and landlords.
Rental fraud is real and is something that we all have to be aware of and prepared to deal with. It comes in many forms and really requires us to be diligent not only as landlords, but even as property management companies.
Rental fraud. It’s not fun, and reports of it happening have seemed like they’ve been going up all across the country. What’s an owner to do? How do you protect your property against such tactics?
For those of you blessedly unfamiliar with rental fraud, it’s what happens when someone who isn’t you or your manager claims to own your property and then proceeds to rent it out and earn rental income on unknowing tenants.
When they’re inevitably found out, the unfortunate (but still illegal) tenants must be removed and you’re left to with the mess of proving in court that you’re the one that owns the property, on top of other fun complications.
Wouldn’t it be better to avoid the chance of rental fraud in the first place?
Well, we’ve got good news: there are strategies you can employ to greatly reduce your chances to falling victim to such a scam.