It is the toughest time to look for an apartment now more than ever in what has become a housing crisis nationwide, and rent in Albuquerque has skyrocketed since the pandemic, making it impossible for some to find a place to live. Here are a few tips on how to get a place without having to sift through the scammers and deadbeat landlords.
How to avoid scammers
When looking for a place to rent it will be inevitable that folks run into scammers, as there are many people out there willing to take anyone’s hard earned money, and the key is to avoid them all together and not look where they lurk.
It’s okay to browse Facebook marketplace or Craigslist, but actually finding an apartment through these venues are rare these days and to be avoided because of the amount of scammers on these sites. If ever at any time a deal is too good to be true, that is because it is. If someone asks for money in any form before meeting up to look at a place, it’s a scam. If the prospective person renting tells you to “just drive by the place and take a look,” that means they most likely don’t have access to the apartment, and even if it has a rental sign outside, doesn’t mean those people are the ones renting it. If a rental sign is out front, take down the contact information straight from the source and confirm who you spoke with, and if not, at least the scammer steered you toward a place you can legitimately get now.
Often times, a scammer will just be taking from a current or recent rental listing, and just reposting it at a lower price. If you are able to get a hold of the person or property management company actually renting the apartment let them know about the scammer to help, get the post taken down.
Relying on Property Management companies
Websites like Zillow and Tulia don’t always give fully accurate information about a listing and users, or posts are not verified there just like FB Marketplace and Craigslist, so when browsing through their selection, look for the property management company that made the listing and try to contact them directly. Zillow will try to get every user on its site to pay for their background check, and often times application fees directly through the person or company renting will cover that cost and those people usually want their own background check services anyway.
Going directly to property management sites and checking their listings cuts out the hassle of dealing with middleman rental apps and knowing exactly who it is you’re dealing with.
Checking property management company reviews can also be a somewhat daunting task, like picking the lesser of a dozen evils, but it is the best way to find a decent management company to rent from, because ultimately, it’s the people who have lived there that you want to hear from on issues like maintenance or rent hikes at the end of a lease.
Instead of searching for local rentals on google, look for ‘best rental property management companies near me,’ because they’re a service provided to the property owners and renters as yet another middleman, but one that gets paid around 10-15% from landlords to properly manage an owner’s properties and renters.
If a property management site isn’t well maintained with current rentals available, chances are they don’t keep up with taking care of their properties either, so make sure to take note of how they conduct their business. Also, if its difficult to get a hold of them during the application and viewing process, chances are it will be impossible get a hold of them for maintenance or issues on the property, so watch out for these signs when choosing a property management company you can trust.
Tons of new apartment buildings are popping up every day, especially in the NE heights that has seen booming development growth with all the new jobs coming to Albuquerque the last few years and bringing tons of new transplants to what used to be a tucked away little city.
When going to check out a listing and seeing that a number of other people are there to look at the apartment, chances are the apartment has a dozen applications on it already, because that is how people are getting a place, by being ahead of everyone else.
Getting your application in ASAP is crucial to having options
When looking for an apartment, many of us don’t realize that a listing is first come, first served, so if you know you really like a property, and can afford to pay the application fee on a property management site, it is worth getting the application and fee turned in as soon as possible. That means even before seeing the apartment its good to get it in as soon as the listing goes up and the apartment is available to move in.
Because if you don’t get the place, a reputable company will give you your application fee back, but also allows to actually have a chance at getting into an apartment versus not hearing back after looking at a place. And even then, chances are someone applied before you did in this quick market, where affordable apartments get snagged quickly with these tactics to pay the fees and fill out the application ASAP via their site ensures some chance at actually finding a place.
If there is a particular area of the city you want to live in, it is worth it to go drive around those neighborhoods, because often times local property owners, even in this day and age, will just put a rental sign out front of the property instead of fussing with posting online. Property owners do this because they want people who are already local to the neighborhood, and is also the best way for prospective renters to find smaller landlords that might be a little less costly on rent.
Hopefully these recommendations can help you to find a decent rental at a somewhat affordable price, avoid scammers, how to cut out the middleman rental apps and finding a reputable rental company.