Renting a flat abroad is very different from renting one in your home country. There are some extra precautions you need to take to ensure that you are renting a legitimate property. Without doing so, you might find yourself in a situation where you’ve not only lost money but don’t have a place to stay while you’re abroad.
Here are some tips to help you rent a flat safely if you’re planning to travel or live in a foreign country.
Use Booking.com and AirBnB
The best and easiest way to ensure that you’re paying for a property you’re actually going to stay in is to use reputable websites. Booking.com and AirBnB are your best bets.
They ensure that you are renting from people who are known to be trustworthy and who have accommodation that’s as good as advertised on the site. Additionally, if your host cancels a booking, you know for certain that you’re going to get your money back.
Avoid paying the entire sum
You’ll find some apartment owners who’ll ask you to pay a deposit. If you feel that the owner is trustworthy and you’re sure that that’s the place where you want to stay, you can go ahead and pay a reasonable deposit, which shouldn’t be much compared to the cost of the total tenancy.
If, however, you find that you’re being asked to pay the total cost at once, it’s best to avoid doing so. In many cases, these are often people looking to swindle you.
Read reviews on the rental site
How can you be sure that the place is as good as advertised? By checking the reviews, of course. These give you a good idea of the flat from the perspective of people who stayed in it as foreigners.
Reading the reviews gives you a clear idea of what the place is like, whether or not it’s legitimate and some other details that might have been missed by the owner on the description.
Some swindlers put up fake reviews and it’s quite a common practice among them. That being said, this is a good way to check the legitimacy of a listing but it shouldn’t be done in isolation. Instead, combine it with the other tips in this article for added assurance.
Checking phone number with Spokeo
You want to be sure that you’re renting from someone who can be trusted, so you’re not at risk of being robbed or much worse while you are abroad. Finding out as much as you can about the owner is a good idea.
Many owners often give their phone numbers on the listing. This makes it possible for you to do a phone number search, which lets you see information about the owner and whether or not they have a criminal record.
This is handy information when you are renting from someone abroad. You’ll also be able to find their social media with phone number lookup, which can give you a much better idea of who you’re renting from.
Google reverse image search
It’s not uncommon for people to put up fake listings and attach pictures from a random site to it. If you’re seriously considering staying in a flat in a foreign country, search the picture on the listing and find out whether it’s an original picture or it was stolen from a random site.
It’s a good idea to consider places with multiple pictures, as it’s more than likely that these places are genuine. However, you’ll still need to check a few of the pictures for originality.
Search the address
Fraudulent listings usually have fake addresses. Googling the address and making sure it really exists is a good precaution to take. If pictures come up, that’s even better. That way you can see if the pictures you’re finding on Google or another search engine are the same as those that are advertised on the site.
Renting a flat in a foreign country is something you want to do in the safest way possible. With the above-mentioned tips, such as reading reviews on the listing, reverse phone lookup using Spokeo and staying on reputable sites, you’ll significantly increase your chances of renting safely and securely.