Comment of the Day: When Everybody Wants To Rent Out Your House

COMMENT OF THE DAY: WHEN EVERYBODY WANTS TO RENT OUT YOUR HOUSE “Your Realtor should know about this. It is not uncommon. It happens regularly to MLS listings. A friend of mine in Meyerland had the same thing happen. It seems they wait until the MLS rental listing status shows pending or leased, which often means the Realtor’s sign is gone from the yard, but the house might still be vacant for 30 days or so until a legit tenant moves in. That’s their window. In my friend’s case the scammer went as far as to look up his name on HCAD and get a g-mail email address that made sense. Same song and dance: he was in London on business; below market rent, etc. The police, FBI, etc. will not do anything. The scammers are usually not local. The scammers sit at their PC’s all day long and do this over and over and over looking for that one gullible renter who will send a deposit to a complete stranger via Western Union. It’s hard to believe it ever actually works, but I guess if you do it enough times, someone will fall for it. The best thing to do is leave the Realtor’s sign in the yard until someone takes occupancy. That should be a giant waving red flag for anyone who shows up to look at the house. If you want to go a bit further, leave a note on the front door saying something along the lines of, ‘Don’t be a victim of online scams. This house is already leased’ or ‘Don’t be a victim of online scams, the only way to lease this house is to call XYZ at (xxx) xxx-xxxx.'” [Bernard, commenting on The MLS Rental Scam Going on Now in the Heights]