Tips for choosing an apartment complex


By John North

Better Business Bureau

Finding an apartment can be an overwhelming experience, especially if it’s your first time. There’s a lot to consider when looking for a place to live. However, with the right tools and tips, the process can be simple. Just make sure you don’t fall for any rental scams and act too quickly.

A rental scam is when scammers take over legitimate rental listings and make them their own. Scammers copy the pictures and descriptions of online rental listings, replace the agent’s contact information with their own and post the phony ads on a new site. If you call or email about the rental, you’ll reach a scammer who may take your money for an application fee, deposit, first month’s rent and/or vacation rental charge. They may even ask for personal information so they can steal your identity.

According to Apartment List, 43.1% of American renters have encountered or fallen victim to a rental scam. Don’t let this be you. Red flags of a scam include the rent is much lower than most in the area, pressure to decide quickly to get a great deal, demands you pay with cash, wire transfers, cards or cryptocurrency.

The Better Business Bureau offers the following tips to help you avoid rental scams:

· Research the complex. Check out the website and make sure it’s legit. Look at current and past tenants’ reviews.

· Search online for the rental location’s address, together with the name of the property owner or rental company. If other ads come up for the same address, but with a different owner or rental company name, it’s a sign of a scam. Also, search online for the name of the property owner or rental company with the words “complaint,” “review” or “scam.”

· Think twice if the landlord claims to be out of the country or gives some other excuse for not showing you the property.

· Be wary of rentals with no background and credit check requirement.

If you’ve been a victim of a rental scam, report the matter to the Federal Trade Commission,, and BBB Scam Tracker, BBB can also ease the apartment shopping process. BBB can provide lists of BBB Accredited rental companies or Business Profiles on ones you’re considering. Visit or call (937) 222-5825 or (800) 776-5301.

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