Make sure you get off to a good start in your new apartment. Learning to recognise rental scams or fraud is important for potential problems.
Do you want to know what the main risks are? You are in the right place.


Preventing rental fraud

The rental industry uses the Internet as a channel to reach various types of customers.

There are channels that do not filter property owners, as is the case of “idealista”, “fotocasa”, etc. and there are others that only operate with trusted owners, as is the case of DFLAT.

Obviously, it is normal for DLAT Madrid to have fewer owners in its portfolio than the previous mass channels.
Through this channel, known cases of rental fraud can be found.


How are scams advertised on websites?


The accommodation is too cheap to be true

We must make sure that the location of the housing and the price offer are reasonable. As they say in Spain, “nadie da duros a cambio de pesetas”.
Rental scams seek to offer properties at excellent prices to attract customers and ask for deposits or advance bookings
.

In these cases, when the trader asks for a rent discount, he or she is granted or is granted some condition such as a late entry in exchange for the initial deposit which will be the money you will lose.

Be wary if an advert is out of the normal price range, trust only reputable websites or providers who have done several contracts with the same landlord
.

Property is a wonder

The perfect doesn’t exist and, if it does, it should be expensive, therefore, people who try to scam rentals add attractive photographs to make the options more appealing: special decoration, swimming pool, etc.

Be cautious of perfect photographs in perfect conditions
. There are usually no objections to the number of people that can live in the apartment if you pay the price they request.
Do not trust photos of a flat in perfect condition, the references must be real or the real estate company should be able to confirm the accuracy of the information
.

The landlord is out of the country or is a foreign resident

What a coincidence, is the owner abroad? Obviously, he will book it to the first person who advances a monthly fee or any other amount while indicating that he has a scheduled trip to see you, as he will travel to Madrid if you pay for his reservation.

Be distrustful of these people. If you cannot verify or validate the existence of this person, you should send someone you trust. They may be fake profiles.
The references must be real or the real estate company must be able to confirm the veracity of the information
.

You are asked for a quick payment, the owner has another offer

To convince you, they will leave you with no time to think, it’s now or never. “I have another offer just like yours, but you were first and I thought it was appropriate to respect what was discussed” and of course, you have to make a down payment without seeing the property and it has to be quick.

Be cautious if you are urged to pay in order to close the deal. You must see the property or the agency must assure you that it has been rented before or to other tenants without major incidents.

Advertisement appears and disappears, because it may be a fake website

Although advertised on reputable portals, many of these platforms do not have immediate contact with the real landlord, meaning that the person may not exist.

Each time a tenant is deceived, the site disappears and reappears under another fake identity. Sometimes they do not change the photos, but they do change the email and name
.

The website appears to be correct, but the link is dubious

We often receive links or information that look exactly like existing platforms, but there is often a trick: the link is dubious, such as “www.pagos.idealista.com” or “reserba.booking.com”.
The trick is to create a website that is a perfect replica of the original website
.

You should look carefully at the link to the page that has been sent to them and note that in the top left-hand corner there is a “padlock” that certifies a high security level (SSL).

Is the signatory really the owner?

The quickest and most effective way to check whether a person is signing in the name of another is to go to the Registro de la Propiedad, where you can obtain proof of the existence and real ownership of the properties.


More recommendations to avoid fraud when renting a property

Always check the SSL certificate, the little padlock at the top left before the search link; if you don’t see it and it says “Not secure”, that’s reason enough to be suspicious and start to inquire a little more. Our website has it.

Use an agency that only works with owners who know and visit their properties.
The apartment and the owner will exist. At DFLAT Madrid we validate all properties and we eliminate unseemly landlords from the system. Your portfolio will be 98% clean and you will be free from the risk of rental fraud
.

Ask for help from someone you trust who has rented before. And if you are still not sure, it is best to check yourself, but be aware that someone else may be ahead of you and it may be too late for you.

If you are a student, you can ask your business school or university for recommendations of companies dedicated to student rentals. DFLAT has collaborations with Carlos III University, IE Business School, EADE, ISDE and Le Cordon Bleu Madrid.

Look for reliable companies that have been in business for more than 10 years. DFLAT started in 2004.

Ask for the rental contract in advance. Read it thoroughly. Consult a lawyer if you have any doubts.


Avoid rental fraud with DFLAT Madrid Accommodation Services

We market our stock through B2C, B2B, moving agencies, personnel departments, travel agencies and our own channels. Our apartments are risk free; corporate apartments list, student apartments list, short term apartments list. 

Still have doubts? We have references from dozens of clients, HR department directors, business schools and mentions in the press such as these appearances in Intereconomía or El Mundo.


Are you a property owner and you like our business model
?

At DFLAT we are always looking for investors and owners. We would love to to offer our property management services in Madrid.

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