Looking for a place to rent can be a stressful business. Whether you’re going for a short holiday or are looking to settle for a while you’ll need to find a place to stay. And if you want your own space then you are going to have to look for a flat or apartment.
Real estate scams are on the rise all over the world, and in Barcelona, it’s no different, so you have to be careful when searching. It’s always best to use a trusted website where you know that all the agents are legitimate. But in some circumstances, people don’t find what they’re looking for and start to browse through other, perhaps not so secure adverts. It’s here where a lot of the scams take place.
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Too good to be true?
This is the first rule to follow in avoiding any troubles: if it’s too good to be true chances are it isn’t! If you see a great apartment, in a great location for a really low price, you can immediately tell that something isn’t right. It just doesn’t happen, not in this world. It’s highly likely that it is a trick put there to lure you in. Don’t fall for it! Look for a bargain but be sensible. Never pay for an apartment before seeing it in person.
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When you see a very vague description, alongside some generic photographs, chances are that it’s not legitimate either. Anyone genuinely renting out an apartment will know everything about it, every nook and cranny, and they’ll want to tell you about it too. And make sure the property is actually in Barcelona, as there have been cases of people from different areas just trying their luck here.
Under no circumstance perform an online transaction with someone you don’t know. That’s the main way scam artists will try to trick you. They may say that they need a deposit up front, creating a state of urgency to catch you off guard. Don’t fall for it! There’s no need for this process to be rushed. Always deal with people in person, or through a trusted company.
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Problems with the owner
Sometimes you can rent an apartment and for months everything seems fine. Eventually, you decide to move and when it comes to getting your security deposit back, the landlord tries to scam you. They can make a variety of insinuations claiming you have caused damage to the property, even when this isn’t so. It’s always best to take some pictures of any existing faults when you move in, send them in an email to yourself and keep them as evidence.
But don’t let this put you off! With a certain amount of vigilance and common sense, you’ll be fine and soon on your way to finding your dream apartment.