Over the last couple of years the Dublin rental market has become pretty difficult to negotiate. The increased demand for rental properties has also led to an increase in property rental scams, which have left many people out of pocket sometimes by huge amounts of money.
According to Daft.ie, there are two types of scams that people need to watch out for: the meet-and-greet scam and the email deposit scam.
After you’ve found a place you’re interested in, made contact with the advertiser and viewed the property this scam begins to unfold. The person will ask you for a deposit in exchange for the keys of the house. Once this has taken place, you will then discover that the keys for the property do not fit and the person who you thought you were renting from is no longer contactable.
The email deposit scam operates in a similar way, except that interactions take place via email. The money for a month or two months’ deposit is transferred into the person’s bank account with the promise that the keys to the home will be sent out.
Here is an example:
Thank you for your interest to rent my apartment
I just read your e-mail regarding my apartment located in Apt X, XXXXXX, Dublin X
I worked in Ireland in the last 5 years and bought this apartment during my staying in Ireland. I’m renting the place for unlimited time but right now the flat is inhabited and will be available from 04 April. Before we go any further I would like to know more about you, like how many persons you intend to live in the place, for how long?
The flat is exactly like in the pictures, fully furnished and renovated. Also, very important, the utilities (cold/hot water, electricity, wireless broadband Internet, digital TV, 1 parking spots, dishwasher, garbage disposal, microwave, refrigerator, washing machine, etc.) are INCLUDED in the price of 1000 Euro/month. “security deposit” is also 1000 Euro. And you get it back, when you decide to leave from the apartment . You can use my furniture, or you can also use your own if you prefer. If you decide to use yours, you will have access to a very large and well ventilated storeroom, where you can put my furniture.
Now, a little bit about myself so we can get to know each other better. My name is Aarl Rarsen, I was born in Sweden. I am Deputy General Manager at http://m.ikea.com/se/sv/ The only inconvenience is that my job doesn’t allow me to leave Sweden where I am now even for one single day. We just hired some new staff and I’m in charge of their training. But this won’t affect you at all. I can make arrangements to rent you the apartment from here.
If you are still interested to rent my place i will explain you how we will do this after i get more information’s about you.
Looking forward to hear from you soon.
Thank You!Aarl Rarsen
Deputy General Manager
How to Avoid Being Scammed
Some of the red flags that you need to look out for are:
• Long-distance Landlords – it is much hard to hold someone accountable if they are in a foreign country
• Requests for wire funds via Western Union or other Electronic Fund services – If you have to pay cash, make sure you get a signed receipt.
• Suspicious email addresses – users claiming to work with or for Daft.ie
• Sob Stories – users who impart details of familial or financial issues need to be treated with caution, especially if such information is imparted as a reason to not personally meet you or to acquire money
• Typos – sometimes, these scams are run by people abroad, some of whom have never even visited the country but are still able to operate these scams because of the power of the internet
• Does the offer sound too good to be true? Then it probably is. Cheap rental accommodation in the city centre is extremely rare.
In order to reduce the risk of falling victim to a rental scam, make sure you use an established lettings agency. This means that you will be able to rent a home safely and without the worry of being dwindled out of money as well as out of a potential home. Familiarising yourself with some of the common scams and exercising caution when using an unknown lettings agent or landlord could save you a lot of time, hassle and money in the long run.