Rental Scammers Thriving in Seattle’s Hot Rental Market

You’re shopping for a new rental on Craigslist or Hotpads, and stumble upon a beautiful listing that is asking well below the market norm – you’re first thought is it’s too good to be true, but at that price who could resist? If you’ve seen these ads while browsing, usually cluttered with grammatical mistakes in the property description, you’ve likely had this same thought. A four bedroom bungalow in Ballard with a garage and hardwoods for $1,200/month?! Sounds like the deal of a lifetime in Seattle’s hot rental market. This listing seems too good to be true, and it certainly is; online rental scammers are thriving in the cut throat Seattle rental market, so be on the lookout for these similarities on your quest for the perfect rental. Scammers almost never list a local phone number, and generally send you an email in response about an urgent matter that leaves no other choice than to deal with all transactions long distance.

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According to the Seattle Times, some of those who have fallen for rental scams have lots hundreds and in some cases thousands of dollars. Sometimes the fake landlord seems to check out alright, they might even have an email that is listed as the actual landlord’s name. Do not wire anyone any money, and make sure to look into the rental company before choosing a rental home. If you’re interested in Seattle rentals, contact your local real estate agent today.

High Seattle Rent + High Competition = High Stakes for Renters

Have you been searching for a new Seattle rental and found that someone else is always one step ahead of you? You aren’t alone! Seattle renters in the throws of searching for a new place to call home have a lot of other renters competing for the same properties. Some renters have been attending open houses, even arriving early in hopes of getting to spe3ak with the landlord directly, only to find that there is a line of Seattleites ahead of them at the door, already discussing their game plan for landing that lease. What is a renter to do? One could spoke with Mynorthwest after a year long search for their rental home. “Oh, it’s awful. You’re like, I’m going to be smart and get to this house 20 minutes early and there’s already 20 people there and they’re all talking about their strategy,” said Ian Schuler. “Seattle is filled with beautiful Type-A personalities. Everybody knows what they want and they’re so competitive. And it takes, honestly, that that kind of personality, I think, to be on top of it.” rental

On average, a one bedroom in Seattle may have gone up 200-400 dollars this past year, and new construction apartments are coming on the market with a high price tag. To make themselves look desirable, many renters are putting together portfolios that include family resumes, pet resumes and neighbor recommendations, along with letters from previous landlords. Anything that might give them the edge needed to one up another prospective tenant. Stay on top of the rental search, and be prepared to have tough competition with the units you’d like to live in. If you’re looking for Seattle rentals, contact your local real estate agent today.