If you are searching for private rented accommodation, you should be careful of rental scams. While these scams occur all year round, they are particularly likely now as students look for accommodation for the college year.
There are three mains types of rental scam:
- The scammer claims they are out of the country and cannot show you the property, but asks you to pay a deposit to secure your tenancy regardless
- The scammer is living at the property and shows a number of people around it, gets a deposit from several people and disappears with the money
- The scammer tells you that you have secured a property, only for you to find that the keys don’t work and the landlord has disappeared
To avoid these rental scams, you should:
- Never agree to rent a property you have not seen in person
- Never pay with cash or by Electronic Fund Transfer services
- Use an escrow account to pay if possible
If you think you may be a victim of a rental scam, report it at your local Garda station.
Threshold, Ireland’s national housing charity, has more information about rental scams on its website.
You can also read more on garda.ie.