Cape Coastal Homes Logo
You are here: Cape Coastal Homes / Latest News / Property Fraud Red Flags When Buying Or Renting Property

Property Fraud Red Flags - When Buying Or Renting Property


Property Fraud Red Flags - When Buying Or Renting Property

When looking forrental accommodation or purchasing property, it is crucial to be aware of potential red flags that could indicate scams orfraudulent activities.

Here are some key warning signs you should never ignore:

•Unbelievably Low Rent/Prices: If the rent or sale price seems too good to be true, it probably is.

•Poor Communication: If the agent orlandlord stalls or ignores you, be wary.

•Pressure to PayDeposits or Sign Paperwork: Don't rush into paying deposits or filling out paperwork before following proper procedures.

•No Credit Check or References (Rentals) / Unresponsive Agents/Sellers (Buying): If they say a credit check or references aren't necessary (rentals) or avoid providing necessary paperwork (buying), question their legitimacy.

•Lack of Information on the Agent: If you can't find any information about the agent online or they don't provide an office number and email (rentals), be cautious.

•Undisclosed Office Locations (Buying): If the agent or seller doesn't disclose their office location, be wary.

•Inconsistent Paperwork (Buying): Look for inconsistencies in documents like land size or registered owner details.

Additional Red Flags (Buying)

•Direct Deposit Demands: Never deposit funds directly into the seller's account without using a reputable lawyer or agent.

•High Pressure to Sign and Pay: Be cautious if pressured to quickly sign agreements or pay deposits.

•Cash Buyers Without Proof: If a cash buyer can not provideproof of funds, be sceptical.

•Discrepancies in Title Deed: Ensure the title deed matches the seller's claims.

•Early Occupation Requests: If a buyer insists on moving in before paying a deposit or securing a loan, be cautious.

Tips to Avoid Property Scams

•UseReputable Agents: Always use estate agents registered with the relevant authority (e.g., PPRA). Check their registration online and confirm their employment with the claimed property company.

•Verify Property and Seller: Conduct thorough research to confirm the legitimacy of the property and the seller. Verify the property's existence and ask for identification from the landlord or seller.

•Meet in Person:Insist on meeting the agent at their office or the landlord/seller in person before viewing the property.

•Secure Transactions:Be cautious with personal or financial information online and use secure platforms for transactions.

•Avoid Upfront Payments: Legitimate agents won't ask for upfront payments other than for lease or credit check fees (rentals). Walk away if asked to pay a deposit before viewing the property.

•Consult Legal Experts: Ensure all documentation is legitimate by consulting legal professionals and property experts. They can identify discrepancies.

•Trust Your Instincts: If something feels suspicious, walk away.

•Use Trust Accounts: Ensure deposits are paid into a trust account managed by a reputable entity.

By following these precautions and consulting professionals, you can significantly reduce the risk of falling victim to property scams, whether you’re renting, buying, or selling.

Author ESI Attorneys
Published 06 Jun 2024 / Views -
Disclaimer:  While every effort will be made to ensure that the information contained within the Cape Coastal Homes website is accurate and up to date, Cape Coastal Homes makes no warranty, representation or undertaking whether expressed or implied, nor do we assume any legal liability, whether direct or indirect, or responsibility for the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any information. Prospective purchasers and tenants should make their own enquiries to verify the information contained herein.