Rental home sharing: Be street smart with these great anti-scam ideas

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By: Phil Bradford
on 29th Apr,2015

You may have planned to take up a home on a serene beachfront from a reliable online portal.S.
Rental home sharing: Be street smart with these great anti-scam ideas


You may have planned to take up a home on a serene beachfront from a reliable online portal. However, on your arrival at your dream home, you realize that the story is different altogether - the home you saw on the portal doesn't match in any standards, whatsoever. It is then that you wake up to witness the harsh realities of life and that is - you've been cheated!

What is the ground scenario like - The rental home buying dilemma

There are thousands of similar cases as yours that are waiting to be heard and let alone be resolved by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Such instances of online fraud and scam are increasing rapidly by the day. Adding insult to injury, even local vacation rentals have started fooling its buyers of their money. The FTC reports that a lot of victims have lost money over dealing with shady websites that replicated other genuine online portals.

At a time, when the economy has many factors playing from front to shape up the lives of the billions across the globe, home sharing is one of the viable but nascent markets attracting more and more prospects ever since it came into foray. The big question is amidst the rising demand and popularity of the home sharing concept, how do undiscerning consumers protect their interest and defend themselves against the con artists as well as other online thugs? That said, here are some of the effective ways to beat the blues out of home sharing:

Home rental contract

One of the foremost steps to take when taking the plunge into home sharing is to verify the address of the concerned property. You need to visit the rental home's site and inspect first hand, along with other on-the-ground facilities that are key to safe travel and living. For instances, you need to find out the nearest tourism office (if any), inquire whether there has been any complaint registered against the rental property that you are going to hire or not, local consumer awareness about the gaining popularity of the home sharing concept, kind of service provided by the rental home owner/company, prominent real estate developers/communities operating in the same the vicinity, alternative but affordable rental home service in the chosen area and so on.

Property owners

When setting off to enjoy home sharing on a distant land, be wary of the property's source. In other words, you must be careful with who's the actual owner of the rental property you are staying in. Even legitimate rental property owners sometimes take advantage of free print and/or web classified advertisements to reduce their marketing costs. But that doesn't mean you should put down all your defenses and keep everything to luck. Rather, it is equally important to vet any kind of free property listing seriously, be it of a legitimate owner's or otherwise. The best is to keep in mind that it is better to safe than sorry. Apart from that, make sure you've spoken to one of the rental property owner's representative directly to become doubly sure of their authenticity.

Market survey

From buying groceries to spaceships, we've all been taught to compare prices and shop around a market before settling for a particular product. The principle should be used here as well. In order to get the best deal, you need to compare rental home prices in the locality. Though a hugely attractive rental rate might be too tempting to resist, but the FTC warns that any offer that is too good to be true should sound an alarm, as below-market rental rates and other holiday services in an area is indicative of a brewing scam. So, if you cross-check the pricing of the rental homes and that of the other ancillary services provided in the community, then it may help you avert losing some precious dollars over rental scams. Never solely rely on the prices quoted on the Internet, but also make it a point to speak to a representative directly.

In addition to that, remember to check the transient license law prevalent in your destination city. This is because every country and state has its own version of transient license system in place. This helps the local governing bodies to keep a tight hold over the rental home sharing and other associated services market in the country and to defend the interest of both local as well as foreign tourists.

If you're not finding a suitable renting home, you can search for a rental apartment instead. Though it is relatively easier to find a suitable rental apartment if you have a good credit record, yet you may find a suitable rental apartment with bad credit, too.

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