The Latest Scam

The Latest Scam

If you’re a landlord here’s the latest scam!

Whenever something new comes along it doesn’t take long for scammers to find a way take advantage. The new scam is Airbnb.  For those of you that are not aware Airbnb is one of the largest online sellers of accommodations. 

The vast majority of their listings are totally legitimate but here is what the scammers are doing. First, they rent out a property on an annual lease from a landlord. Generally what happens next is the change to electronic locks on the front door so they don’t have to meet anyone for keys. Then they advertise the property as a short term rental on Airbnb.  They basically turn your house into a motel.

That creates several problems. First, in many areas short term rentals are either not allowed or strictly limited. If your property is in one of communities you could be facing massive fines, without ever knowing about it. One homeowner who was victimized by this scam in Miami Beach is facing fines of around $500,000!

Another problem is that your neighbors aren’t going to be happy with new tenants moving in every few days. Finally, the scammers try to get as many people as possible in the house to maximize their money. What do you think that does to the condition of your property?

Airbnb is a great service BUT from what I read they don’t check or require the person listing a home to be the homes owner or to have the owner’s permission to place the rental. Also based on several stories once you find out your property is being rented illegally it’s not always easy to get the listing removed.

So as a landlord, how do you get around this? The best way is your neighbors. Talk to some of them and make sure they report to you if they see anything suspicious.  If you’re out of town and listing with a realtor ask them to check on the property once in awhile.

This scam is still in its infancy but as word spreads you can expect the number of these fake rentals to increase. Don’t you get caught!!!

As always if you need advice or help with your real estate matter don’t hesitate to contact me.

Thanks for reading.

Gary Benson, EcoBroker, SFR

Exit Realty Premier

Cell: 561-445-2331

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Phone: 561-445-2331
Dated: September 18th 2017
Views: 189
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