Property management experts at The Lightner Property Group write:
Currently, there are a number of bills which have passed both the Senate and the Assembly which are of interest to landlords and tenants in California. The first of our three bills, AB 1800 (Hagman-Ma), is a response to the numerous scams that have arisen out of the on-line rental market and the increasing number of owners renting their own units through on-line listing services.
To avoid the scam entirely, what can a prospective renter do?
* • First, conduct business with a recognized local real estate company or rental agency. By spending some time doing research on the Internet, you can locate legitimate local rental agencies, as well as get a sense of who has the better reputation in your area as a responsive and responsible landlord and manager. While not all reviews are legitimate, you can get a fairly accurate picture of the style and reputation of a company by reading the available reviews on the various review sites now available. Don’t make big decisions – pro or con – based on a single review.
* • If the unit is not represented by a leasing or real estate company, make sure you are dealing with the owner by looking up the owner of the property on the Internet. Verify that the individual you are dealing with is the owner or agent of the owner. If necessary, ask to see the driver’s license or some other form of photo ID.