Kilkenny students urged to be wary of rental scams as they return to college
Kilkenny students returning to third-level institutions and others attending for the first time are being urged to watch out for fraudsters pulling rental scams.
With accommodation at a premium and rental properties becoming harder to find in some college towns and cities due to supply issues, Kilkenny gardai are asking people to look out for the tell-tale signs of scams.
A spokesperson for Kilkenny gardai said there is a problem with rental fraud at present and the scams generally fall into three categories.
“Firstly,” the spokesperson said, “the scammer claims to be out of the country and can’t show you the property and requests a deposit
“The scammer is living at the property and shows a number of people around, gets a deposit from several people and disappears with the money
“And finally, the transaction appears normal until the renter finds the keys don’t work and the landlord has disappeared,” the spokesperson said.
Gardai say people should do their research on properties they are looking to rent before handing over money and recommend that students go through a registered rental agency.
The spokesperson continued by saying: “People need to establish that the house exists and that it is available for rent and the identity of the landlord/agent, and that they have the authority to rent the property.
“Ideally only do business with established bonfide rental agencies and always meet a prospective landlord in the accommodation to be rented.
“You should always ask for identification and take a photo of that ID on your phone.
“Pay the deposit to the landlord only and use cheques or bank drafts to pay the deposit. Keep copies of receipts of payment and any correspondence with the agent of landlord.
Finally, ensure the keys fit and open all door lock. Sign the rental contract prior to payment of deposit,” the spokesperson concluded.