Property Management companies such as Suncoasteam Property Management, are here to protect owners and renters from fraud. Police departments in Florida and around the country are reporting scams where individuals are posting rental properties on Craigslist and other websites for homes that they do not own. In our area, the problem seem to more prevalent in Cape Coral and Lehigh Acres. They are finding FSOB (For Sale By Owner) homes on Craigslist, Zillow and other sites, then posting the homes as rental properties. The scammers change locks, collect rental deposits and the first month rent and allow the tenants to move in. Eventually, the real owner discovers the scam and calls the police. The renters do not have a legal lease so they can be immediately evicted or even arrested. Both the owner and the renter lose money.
The way to protect yourself from such a scam is to employ a reputable Property Management firm whether as a renter or owner. At Suncoasteam Realty, our Property Management division NEVER posts a rental on Craigslist (there are other types of scams that dupe legitimate owners). In addition, all leases that we present to a tenant are prepared by an attorney. We also orders a credit check and a criminal background check on any renter.
The attorney-prepared lease is used to protect the owner as well. We conduct periodic inspections of the rental property to be sure that the renter is taking proper care and maintaining the property and grounds. If there is a problem, we addresse it immediately, not waiting until the end of a lease. We interview the owner, inspect the deed to insure ownership and inform the owner that if there is a mortgage, they must notify us of the status. If the owner becomes in jeopardy of foreclosure, we will work with the owner and protect the renter as well.
Important things that an owner or renter can do to protect him or herself is to be sure that the lease is prepared by an attorney, that deposits are held in a separate bank escrow account, not mingled with any owner personal funds and check the background of the renter and owner. Of course, you can cut right through all of that if you use a professional Property Manager.
Suncoasteam Property Management conducts business to be fair to all parties and to protect them from fraud and misbehavior. Call us at 941-979-8042 to discuss your property management needs, whether owner or renter.
Seasonal Rentals: https://suncoasteam.com/property-management-services/seasonal-rentals