Renting an apartment: How to avoid risks? Part 1. Tenant Risks
RISK 1. News agencies
We have repeatedly warned of news agencies whose direct purpose is to deceive customers. But despite this, there are still unlucky employers who trust such firms and the schemes proposed to them. We will briefly talk about this.
For a small amount, information agencies are obliged to provide information on apartments and rooms for rent in Moscow within one to two weeks in the form of a facsimile message or printouts (depending on the wishes of the customer). The printout is as follows: all available options are placed in a table in which there is only a metro station, telephone and host name. The client will be convinced that the apartment can be picked up in a matter of days, that all real estate agencies work according to these schemes. We’ll immediately warn you that the result of the call will be disappointing: in the best case, the apartment has long been leased, in the worst – no one thinks about it.
And although an agreement has been concluded with the agency, it has the right to note that the client has received the necessary information, so he can only rely on the same printouts, from which there is not the slightest sense.
The advice is: do not chase cheapness, do not interact with news agencies. Otherwise, you will have to throw money down the drain and fairly pat your nerves.
How to distinguish a news agency from a real estate agency? First of all, at the cost of services. Real estate agency takes 100% of the monthly rent for the apartment. That is, when renting a house, the client pays not only the owner (usually for the first and last month), but also the agency. They work with real options here, and there are much fewer cases of fraud, because a competent agent who will represent the interests of the customer is much more difficult to deceive. You should pay attention to the contract itself. If it states that the service is provided to the tenant of a reference-informational nature, such an agency does not bear any obligations to third parties.
RISK 2. Scam traps!
Do not think that this will never happen to you. Most victims of fraud in the rental housing market are people who are not stupid, but legally illiterate.
There are many schemes. One of the most common is renting an already rented living space. The swindler rents a one- or two-room apartment of a low price category, and then offers it to another tenant. There may be options. First: rent an apartment at a price significantly lower than the average market, but require an advance payment or a deposit that covers the money spent by the fraudster for the first month of hiring and makes a profit. Legends are different: for example, a con man goes on a business trip for several months and asks for a fee in advance; the “owner” begs to wait with the move until he takes out the extra things, and wants him to be paid for the first month now or left a deposit (30-50% of the rent). A few days later, when a gullible tenant arrives to move in, he discovers in front of the door several more families with whom the imaginary owner of the apartment also took a deposit.
Swindlers can even conclude employment contracts and immediately hand over keys, but always leave a loophole for deception. Sometimes, before moving in, they change the locks in the apartment or soon “relatives” appear and expose uninvited residents. To fall into the trap of a swindler, unfortunately, is quite easy. They are good psychologists and calculate everything in advance.
In almost any reputable real estate agency, there are lists of apartments whose owners regularly circle tenants around the finger.
How to avoid a scam? The main advice: check the documents for the apartment and identification, do not give money without a receipt, which must necessarily indicate the passport data of the landlord. These are the risks associated with fraudsters who are obviously willing to cheat.
Now let’s talk about the risks that arise from various misunderstandings and disagreements between the landlord and the tenant.
RISK 3. Municipal apartment
Everyone knows that the non-privatized apartment belongs to the city, but few landlords care about getting the written consent of the representative of the municipality and everyone who is registered in the apartment for rental. It is this paper that is fundamental. Without the permission of the municipality, anyone registered in the apartment may prohibit the tenant from living in it. There are cases when fraud is built on this nuance: two of those registered play a show – one passed and left, and the other has nowhere to live. But there are cases of unintentional fraud, when disagreements in the family (the wife passed, and the husband against) force the employer to leave the apartment in which he lived only a few months, or even weeks. And even if the unlucky landlord returns the money, you still have to look for another area, move, lose time and nerves.
Therefore, it is necessary to find out whether the apartment or room is owned by the landlord. And if it is not privatized, it is necessary to require written