02 Jan 2013
A trend of false advertising taking place online in the property market has sparked some concern among real estate agencies.
Lanice Steward, managing director of Knight Frank Anne Porter says her agents have come across cases where they have seen more adverts online advertising properties to let that either don’t exist or do, but do not belong to the person advertising them.
The advertisers seem to be targeting younger people who may not have full experience and know-how of finding an apartment or home to rent on their own.
Steward advises all people (not just those who are younger and inexperienced) to look for a reputable company rather than going the do-it-yourself route.
She says having a reputable company is a safe way to protecting one’s hard-earned money.
As an example, she says in one of the reported cases, an individual who responded to the ad had paid a deposit before receiving the keys or having signed a lease.
No reputable rental agent or company will demand a deposit for a home or any form of payment before the tenant has the chance to view the property, had his credit record checked and signed a lease, she says.
Most companies will operate this way and even most private landlords will make sure the agreement is signed and his tenant is suitable before asking for any payments to be made.
“In most cases, if it’s too good to be true, it is.”
Many of the fake ads have taken photos from other websites, listed the properties under what seems to be a reasonable rental price and they only operate with an email address and rarely a contact number, she says.
She warns people to be careful when looking through ads online and compare what is on offer in the area, if the rental seems lower than the going rate, this should be a warning sign.
“You might think you are saving money by going directly to the landlord and not using an agent but in all likelihood you’re opening yourself up to the risk of being conned,” she adds.
Apartment / Flat for sale in West Acres R 710 000
House for sale in Weltevredenpark R 1 890 000
Apartment / Flat for sale in Annlin R 860 000
House for sale in Mdantsane Nu 17 R 480 000
House for sale in Island View R 1 070 000
Townhouse for sale in Kosmosdal R 949 000
Townhouse for sale in Annlin R 750 000
Commercial Property for sale in Hatfield R 5 700 000
Vacant Land / Plot for sale in Sonheuwel R 460 000
House for sale in Umhlanga Rocks R 4 750 000
If you are using Internet Explorer 8 or higher, please verify that your Internet Explorer compatibility view settings are not enabled.
For the best browsing experience, update to the latest Version of Internet Explorer or try out Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox.
Please contact our Property24 Support Team for further assistance. Tel. +27 (0)861 111 724