The Accommodation Hunt: how to avoid traps and scams

Nowadays, finding accommodation can be a very daunting task, be it for the new university year, or any other reason. You’ve got to find ad, phone people and prepare a dossier: it’s a long process that requires thought and patience, above all when trying to avoid falling for a trap or scam.

Rental Scams

Essentially, the key to not falling for a trap or a scam is to ask yourself the right questions. It could be, for instance that you find accommodation, you prepare a dossier to secure it right away, but once it’s all confirmed, the bills are too much on top of the rent. You could equally end up with accommodation that is too rundown for you, that doesn’t have the right mod-cons, or that simply is in a noisy neighbourhood.

You also need to remember that being on a platform for room rental ads does not mean you can let your guard down, because scams flourish above all of these sites. If you want to avoid traps and outsmart the scammers, here are a few tips.

Avoiding Rental Traps and Scams
  • Firstly, compare. That is to say, if you see an ad for an apartment and the rent is much lower than other similar rentals in the same area you need to be wary. An offer that appears almost too good to be true probably is- more often than not, they’re traps.
  • Take note of the syntax and spelling of the ad. If it’s full of mistakes, you’d do well to avoid the ad.
  • Look at the photos, whilst bearing in mind the cost of the rent. Don’t hesitate to ask for more photos if necessary.
  • Who’s in charge of viewings? Make sure you know who you’re dealing with before contacting them.
  • Does the accommodation actually exist? Be sure and check, otherwise you could end up with a nasty surprise! Don’t hesitate to look the address up straight away on Google Maps.
  • Look out for additional charges, above all application, handling and rental fees to name a few.
  • Be very careful when signing the lease and make sure you’ve checked all of the clauses.
  • Roomlala helps to keep you safe!

    If you’re looking for a homestay or a homeshare, why not check out Roomlala. The site puts a great deal of effort into not accepting ads that appear fake, through its process of ad moderation, which begins digitally, but is then carried out manually by our reservations team to make sure that nothing slips through.

    The Roomlala team validates the account of every member of the site and gives them a trust level based on the quantity of information that they provide. This means that you know exactly who you’re dealing with!

    Moreover, payment is completely secure, thanks to the 3D Secure System: Roomlala also acts as a trusted third party, and pays the rent to the landlord only 48 hours after the arrival of the tenant, so that if something weren't to be right, you can contact us and we can block the payment before it goes through to them.

    Insurance is available in case of cancellation, damages, or if one party suddenly breaks off the arrangement. Likewise, don’t forget to check out the Student Section of our blog for more useful tips.

    Author: Roomlala