Beware of Salt Lake City rental property scams

Beware of Salt Lake City rental property scams

How to Protect Yourself from Rental Fraud in Salt Lake City

 

If you have ever been in the unfortunate position of being scammed while searching for a Salt Lake City rental property, you know how heartbreaking it can be. If you haven’t experienced this, you might be wondering – how does someone get scammed during a search for rental property? Typically, a scammer will use a method of fraudulence called phishing. Phishing is a fraudulent attempt to gather sensitive information by posing as an authoritative source. The scammer often does this by advertising a property for rent posing as an individual owner or property manager of the rental. When a renter reaches out about the property, they will receive an automated response with generic information about the property. The scammer will then request a security deposit in order to secure the rental. Once the deposit has been transferred, the scammer will discontinue all forms of communication completing the rental scam. According to a consumer alert about phony online rental ads from the FBI, millions of dollars have been lost annually through this type of fraudulent phishing. Here are a few things to look out for when looking at a potential rental property:

 

Limited or Lack of Communication

 

 1.)  One warning sign that you’re experiencing a rental scam is limited, suspicious communication. If a rental property listing does not provide a phone number, it may be a scammer located overseas. Most phishing scammers will use email as their main form of communication. This email correspondence may include broken English and unusual use of descriptors (i.e. referring to the property as a flat instead of a house or apartment). Look through the listing for red flags like a large number of spelling errors or suspicious use of capital letters.

2.) Because many scammers are sourced in a different country, check the times in which the emails were sent. If the emails were sent during strange hours, it may be an indicator that they’re sourced in a different time zone.

3.) Additionally, you should always be able to speak with the landlord or a property manager in person or over the phone before signing, providing secure information, or sending a security deposit. If you suspect that the person you are speaking with is not who they say they are or seem too eager about receiving a deposit before a property viewing, it is always better to walk away from a situation than be scammed out of thousands of dollars.

 

Suspiciously Low Pricing

 

You may have heard the old saying, “If it is too good to be true, it probably is.” In order to generate a significant amount of interest, scammers will typically list the rental rate much lower than market value. Check other listings in the area to see if there is a substantial difference in price. You can also check your areas median price range to see how it compares. If the advertised price is much lower than properties listed by other landlords or property managers, this should be considered a big red flag of rental fraud.

 

Lack of Address or Pictures

 

If you are viewing a rental listing and it has a lack of address or pictures, it is likely that the listing is a scam. Always be sure to have a complete understanding of what the property looks like and where it is before committing to any agreements or deposits. If there is an image of the outside of the property, be sure to confirm that it is correct through a quick google street view search. A lack of images doesn’t always indicate a fraudulent listing, but if you are unable to view the property in person or receive images upon request, there is a good chance you are looking at a rental scam.

 

Suspicious Security Deposit Requests

 

Many landlords or property managers in Salt Lake City will require the security deposit upfront before entering into a lease agreement, however, you should always have the opportunity to view the rental property before providing this. Additionally, if you are being asked to wire money before speaking to the property manager or are not asked to enter into a deposit agreement, you should consider this a major red flag. It is always important to have a conversation about the specifics of your rental deposit and have a clear understanding of where the money is going and who it is going to. Consider doing some research on the property owner before committing to any agreement or deposit. A quick google search will often yield plenty of information about other properties they may own or experiences others have had. According to a government report on housing scams, “do a search on the owner, real estate management company, and listing. If you find the same ad listed under a different name, that’s a clue it may be a scam.”

 

Hopefully, you never have to be in a situation in which you are targeted by a rental property scam. But if you are, it is important to remember these red flags. If the correspondence seems suspicious or makes you feel uncomfortable, don’t be afraid to question the individual. As the property owner or manager, they should be more than happy to answer any specific question you might have. If you still aren’t sure, it is always better to walk away from a situation rather than risk the chance of rental fraud. If you suspect you are the target of a scam or have already experienced a scam, be sure to report your experience to your state consumer protection or attorney general’s office, and to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) to help stop the problem.

 

If you are searching for a rental property in Salt Lake City consider Wolfnest Real Estate & Property Management. We strive to provide excellent customer service through integrity and honesty.

Application Process for Salt Lake City Property Management Companies

Application Process for Salt Lake City Property Management Companies

Real Estate Services - Satisfied Property Management Customers in Utah - Wolfnest Property Management - Salt Lake City Property Management

Renting a home from a Salt Lake City property manager can be a very complicated process. It may seem like it is as simple as submitting a rental application and moving into the home, but that it not the case. There is actually a very specific process before receiving an approval. Our application criteria can be accessed on our website. Below are the steps a Salt Lake City property management will go through in order to approve a rental application:

Step #1: Review all information within an application

This may seem like an obvious step, but the Salt Lake City property manger will review all of the information received in the application to ensure that nothing will immediately disqualify the candidate. This may include gross income, past rental history, and criminal history.

Step #2: Generate a credit and background report

The Salt Lake City property management company will then have a credit and background report generated for each applicant that will be occupying the home. While some property managers will require a minimum credit score, the focus will be on the repayment history over the past two years. In addition to any amounts that are currently past due or in collections. With regards to the background report, the property management company in Salt Lake will be looking for any items that may be deemed a threat to the community (i.e. drugs, violence, etc.).

Step #3: Verify employment and rental history

Once the Salt Lake City property management company has reviewed all of the information in the application and credit/background reports, they will then call the candidate(s) employer and past landlords to verify monthly income and rental history to ensure that the information provided is accurate.

Once these steps have been completed, the application for the candidate will be processed. An approval or denial will be generated. If you are tenant that is interested in renting a home in Salt Lake City, please consider renting from Wolfnest Property Management. Search our available rental properties by clicking here.

 

property management

Questions To Ask A Property Management Company Before Signing a Lease

Questions To Ask A Property Management Company Before Signing a Lease

How Salt Lake City Property Managers Screen Tenants - Wolfnest Property Management - Salt Lake City Property Management

If you have ever rented a home from a Salt Lake City property manager, you know first hand how stressful the process can be. Not only are you consumed with finding the perfect home, but the contract process can be overwhelming once you do. With so much information to digest, it is common to overlook important questions that you should be asking. Below are three important inquiries that should be confirmed before entering into a lease agreement with a property manager in Salt Lake City:

Question #1:

When is rent due and how can payment be remitted? If you have rented a home in Salt Lake City in the past, you may have been fortunate enough to be provided with a grace period. However, it is becoming more and more common that property management companies are requiring rent to be paid by the 1st of the month and the late fee can be significant if it is not received on time.

It is also important to inquire how rent can be paid. The majority of property management companies in Salt Lake have the capability to accept online payments. This can make paying rent extremely convenient and help to avoid any late fees, especially if automatic payments can be setup.

Question #2:

How are maintenance requests submitted and how long does it take to address the issue? One of the primary benefits of renting from a property management company in Salt Lake City is that maintenance requests are usually taken extremely seriously. Before signing the lease agreement, it is important to clarify how maintenance requests are to be submitted and what phone number should be used for emergency situations. Most property managers will want the issue to be submitted in writing and have the capability to accept the maintenance request online. It is also very important to ask how long it typically takes to respond to these requests and the timeline to resolve most issues.

Question #3:

How can the lease agreement be terminated? When entering into the contract, the last thing you are probably thinking about is canceling your lease agreement; however, the fact of the matter is your situation may change and it is important to outline the process for early termination. Most property management companies in Salt Lake City do have policies for this situation and will offer an early termination option. Before entering into a lease agreement, it is extremely important to confirm this policy and how much is charged for breaking the agreement early.

I hope that you never are in a situation where you enter into a lease agreement before receiving all of the important information. Always remember that it is better to ask a lot of questions and be comfortable with the decision than sign a contract and regret it later.

If you are a tenant that is interested in renting a home in Salt Lake City, please consider renting from Wolfnest Real Estate and Property Management. Search our available rental properties by clicking here

Tenant Fees: What to Expect With Your Property Manager

Tenant Fees: What to Expect With Your Property Manager

If you have never rented a home from a Salt Lake City property management company before, you can expect a totally different experience than renting directly from an owner. There are definitely pros and cons when renting from each, but the benefits from renting from a Salt Lake City property manager will far outweigh the drawbacks. One of the key differences between each is the cost associated with leasing the property. Although each property manager will charge different amounts, below is a list of the some of the typical fees that are associated with renting a home from a Salt Lake City property management company:

tenant fees utah

Application Fee– This is charged to a tenant when applying for a property. This fee typically covers the cost of the background and credit report generated by the Salt Lake City property management company.

Lease Origination Fee – This is charged to a tenant when a new lease agreement is created. This fee typically covers the work associated with underwriting a new lease agreement by the Salt Lake City property manager.

Late Fee– This is charged to a tenant when rent is not received on time. This fee will vary but is usually 10% of one monthly rental payment.

Month-to-Month Fee – This is charged to a tenant that chooses to overstay the term of the current lease agreement. This fee typically provides an incentive for the tenant to enter into a new lease agreement with the Salt Lake City property management company.

Service of Notice Fee – This is charged to a tenant that has not complied with the terms of the lease agreement. This fee is associated with the process of the Salt Lake City property manager posting a notice for the tenant to correct the lease violation or risk eviction.

There can be other fees associated with renting a Salt Lake City property management company. I always recommend inquiring about all of the applicable costs before entering into a lease agreement.

If you are a tenant that is interested in renting a home in Salt Lake City, please consider renting from Wolfnest Property Management. You can preview a list of our available properties here. For additional advice, check out this article from Time.com

Should I rent from a Salt Lake City property management company?

Should I rent from a Salt Lake City property management company?

Why renting from a Salt Lake City property management company is a good idea.

 

You might be asking yourself – is there a difference between renting a property from an individual landlord or a property management company? While it may seem like you would receive the same service either way, you might be surprised to find that your experience could be very different depending on who you rent from. Unless you have ever rented from both, you might not fully appreciate the benefits that are provided from a Salt Lake City property management company. Below are three reasons why every tenant in Salt Lake City should rent from a property management company:

Reason #1: A property management company will not discriminate – You might be surprised to know that an individual owner can discriminate against a potential tenant for any reason. On the contrary, a Salt Lake City property management company must adhere to the laws of Fair Housing and may not discriminate based on race, color, religion, sex, disability, source of income, familial status, sexual orientation or gender identity, and national origin.

Reason #2: A property management company will resolve maintenance issues– Consider this scenario…your refrigerator breaks and you try calling the owner to have him fix it. You leave multiple voicemails and send multiple emails, but do not receive a response. What would you do? Since a Salt Lake City property management company must follow the Utah Fit Premise Act, it must address a maintenance issue within 1-10 days depending on the severity.

Reason #3: A property management company will provide a level of professionalism – Have you ever thought about the owner visiting the property when you are not home and going through your possessions? While this situation might seem far-fetched, it actually happens more often than you might think. A Salt Lake City property management company will not only provide you with the level of professionalism that you deserve, but it will also be held accountable for it’s actions.

If you are tenant that is interested in renting a home in Salt Lake City from a professional property management company, please consider renting from FRE Real Estate and Property Management. Please click here for a list of our available properties.

Renting from a landlord vs. a Salt Lake City Property Management Company

Renting from a landlord vs. a Salt Lake City Property Management Company

Does renting from a Salt Lake City property management company offer advantages over renting from an individual landlord?

Property management firms in Salt Lake City have a tremendous value to an owner, but as a tenant, you may wonder how a Salt Lake rental property manager can benefit you. Depending on your situation, these companies can be just as valuable to a tenant and more effective than renting from an individual landlord. Below are three reasons why every tenant should consider using a Salt Lake City property management company:

Reason #1: More advanced tools – Unfortunately, the tools utilized by a rental property manager and an individual landlord are not always equal. Most property management firms in Salt Lake have evolved to making renting a home much easier by accepting online rent payments and submitting maintenance requests through an online portal, while many landlords have remained content with having tenants mail a rent check each month and placing a phone call that may or may not be returned for each maintenance issue. If you want to take advantage of the tools that make renting a home more convenient for you, you may want to consider leasing from a company that specializes in property management in Salt Lake City.

Reason #2: More consistent communication – Consider this scenario…you have an issue with your rental property and have tried reaching out to your landlord. You wait for your email and phone calls to be returned, but you never hear back. Unfortunately, this is a very common occurrence when dealing with an individual landlord. While many property management firms in Salt Lake City have drawbacks, you can expect a level of consistent communication before entering into an agreement and also during your tenancy.

Reason #3: Better service – If you have ever had a maintenance issue with your rental property, you know how long it can take before the landlord fixes the problem. Property managers in Salt Lake are experienced in prioritizing maintenance issues and having them resolved in a timely manner. It’s the Salt Lake City property management company’s job to take care of all maintenance and repair issues as quickly and efficiently as possible.

At the end of the day, if you find a property that works best for you, you should consider leasing it regardless of whether it is managed by an individual landlord or property management company in Salt Lake City. If you are a tenant that is interested in renting a home in Salt Lake City, please consider renting from FRE Real Estate and Property Management. Please click here for a list of our available properties.

Why every Salt Lake City renter needs renters insurance

Why every Salt Lake City renter needs renters insurance

Why do I need renters insurance for my rental property in Salt Lake City?

You might be asking yourself – what is renters insurance and why should I pay for it? Unfortunately, there is a common misconception for renters in Salt Lake City that they don’t really need to carry this insurance and that it has no value. Unless you have ever been in the unfortunate situation of having to make a claim, you might not fully appreciate this as a necessity. Below are three reasons why every tenant in Salt Lake City should have a renters insurance policy:

Reason #1: Renters insurance covers your personal property – If you stop and think about everything you own and assign a dollar value to all of your possessions, it will probably surprise you how much you own. A renters insurance policy will help replace your items in the event of theft or destruction by a fire.

Reason #2: Renters insurance covers liability from negligence – Consider this scenario…it is a snowy day in Salt Lake City and you don’t have the time to shovel the sidewalks. An individual slips and falls and breaks a bone. Since your negligence caused the injury, you are liable for all of costs associated. Another situation where renters insurance would be critical is if a fire was caused by the tenant’s negligence. This would also result in the tenant being responsible for the cost of replacement of the home in Salt Lake City, which many individuals would not be able to cover without renters insurance.

Reason #3: Renters insurance covers additional living expenses – Have you ever thought about what you would do if a fire or natural disaster made your current home in Salt Lake City un-livable?Renters insurance will help pay for your living expenses under this scenario. As a tenant, this peace of mind can be priceless.

If renters insurance is something that you may be interested in, I would recommend contacting your local insurance agent in Salt Lake City for more information. If you are tenant that is interested in renting a home in Salt Lake City, please consider renting from FRE Real Estate and Property Management. Search available rental properties in Salt Lake City by clicking here.

How to Avoid Home Rental Scammers

How to Avoid Home Rental Scammers

Single Property Management - Wolfnest Property Management Logo - Salt Lake City Property Management

Avoid Home Rental Scammers

Moving to a new city can be a life changing moment for most people. It is important to know how to avoid scams when looking for a new apartment, in an area that you are unfamiliar with. Here are something’s to be aware of in order to help you avoid those scams.

There are a lot of scammers that take and use a real listing from, a real home rental or real estates and claim it as their own, they will take these already written listings and make a few modification, by changing the email address or other contact information to include their own information. They might even use the same name as the original poster and only change the picture and contact information, just to confuse you.

The best sign that the listing is a scam is if they request you to wire money over. There is no reason for you to wire money over, not matter what the reason may be. Some reasons could be paying a security deposit, vacation rental, or application fee, there is never a good enough reason to wire money, because once the money is wired there is no way for you to get that back. So beware if a listing for a rental home is asking you to wire some money for a security deposit, or application fee it is most likely a scam.

Another thing to always remember is, if the deal is too good to be true then it probably is. Most scammers will take all of the real information for a home rental listing, but list the price below the average rental rate in the market, that is an easy sign tell whether or not the listing could be a possible scam.

These are some of the basic things that you must look out for when looking for to a home rental, the best way to avoid these kinds of mishap is to hire a real estate agent, and discuss your concerns with them. If you choose to continue the search by your self always be aware that if they ask you to wire money, that is a safe assumption that the listing is a scam, and remember that if they deal is too good to be true, then it probably is.

How to Maximize Tenant Retention

How to Maximize Tenant Retention

Property Management 

 

How to Maximize Tenant Retention

Finding quality tenant(s) can be a long, tedious process. Most owners would give anything to be guaranteed that the tenant would pay rent on time and take excellent care of their property.  Once you are able to find a great tenant, what can be done to make sure that this tenant never wants to move out of your home? Below are some to tips to maximize tenant retention:

 

  • Respond to maintenance requests in a timely manner – If the furnace goes out in the property in the middle of winter, it is important that it is communicated to the tenant that this will be resolved as soon as possible. Even if the request seems unreasonable, it is important to contact the tenant back in a timely manner to explain your reasoning for not processing the request. It is always best to do what you say that you’re going to do and following up with your tenants shows that you do value them and want them to continue renting your property.
  • Continue to rent the property below market value – Many owners and property management companies feel that a rent increase should happen every year in order to maximize cash flow. If you are willing to make a small concession to your excellent tenant, it will make them feel valued and will not give them a reason to find a new place to live.
  • Stay in touch with your tenant throughout the year – Many owners will place the tenant in the property and will not talk to them again until it is time to sign a new lease the next year. Contacting the tenant to make sure that they are happy with the property and that everything is working correctly shows the tenant that you truly care about their happiness and that you do not want them to leave. Conducting a semi-annual inspection is a great way to accomplish this.
  • Give your new tenant a welcome packet – It can really go a long way to establishing a good relationship tenant by providing a helpful guide to the property they are renting. This can provide information on how to switch the utilities into their name or how to pay the rent each month.

 

If you would like assistance in keeping the best possible tenant(s) in your property, please consider hiring FRE Property Management. We are the premier property management company in Utah and will provide you with the peace of mind knowing that your investment will be taken care of.

Tips for New Rental Property Owners – Part 2

Tips for New Rental Property Owners – Part 2

Tips for New Rental Property Owners – Part 2

 

As we mentioned in part one of this article, being a new landlord for your rental property can be intimidating. There are several things that you need to learn. Below are several tips that will help you get a better understanding of the property management world:

 

  • Respond Promptly to Maintenance Requests – Tenants will contact you as a landlord for requests that may seem ridiculous, such as a light bulb that has burned out and needs to be replaced. However, it is always a good idea to address the tenant sooner rather than later and explain why you will or will not be fixing the issue. In the event of valid emergency requests, it is good practice to have these fixed as soon as possible. If it is the middle of winter and the furnace goes out, you need to have this addressed ASAP. As a landlord, you will need to determine what is considered an emergency request and what is not, and then prioritize accordingly.
  • Conduct Regular Inspections of the Property – The best way to find out if there are potential maintenance issues with your rental home is to regularly inspect it. This will also let you know how well the tenant is taking care of your property. It is best practice to conduct a walk through inspection once a quarter and a drive by inspection every 1-2 months. You may be thinking that you do not have the time to inspect the property this often, but it could prevent a major maintenance issue and be more than worth it in the long run.
  • Learn the Rules and Regulations – Knowing all of the landlord/tenant laws for Utah can not only be tricky, but also very overwhelming. There are so many different practices that landlords must follow and the last thing that you want is to be sued by your tenant for violating these. You might be thinking, “How can I ever learn all of the landlord/tenant laws for Utah?” The state does have this information available, and while it may take some time to research this, it will more than worth it if it keeps you out of civil court.
  • Insure your Rental Property – It is always a good idea to carry sufficient insurance on your property, just in case there is ever an issue. There are many different kinds of insurance, including hazard and liability, which will cover you for different situations. Having your property covered under good insurance can save you from a lot of future troubles.
  • Employ an Eviction Attorney – If your tenant has not paid his/her rent, do you know who to call to begin eviction proceedings? It is very important to have a good eviction lawyer in place, so in the unfortunate event that you do need to evict, you can get the old tenant out of your property and a new tenant in as soon as possible. There are many laws that must be followed when evicting a tenant and it is always best to leave this to the professionals to comply with. A good eviction attorney will also provide you with your best chance in recovering the rent owed to you by your tenant.

 

Being a rental property owner can very rewarding, but also very stressful. If you would like to discuss the best way to manage your rental or if you are considering hiring a property management company, please contact us at FRE Property Management. We are the premier property management company in Utah and will provide you with the peace of mind knowing that your investment is being taken care of. Contact us today at 801-673-5692.