With its legendary food, wine, history, architecture, beaches and natural landscape, Italy doesn't really need any introduction. The country sitting in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, has charmed travellers, artists, writers for many centuries. If you've also fallen in love with the beauty of Rome, Milan or Florence we get it. And we are here to help you rent the perfect home in one of these cities, without making any mistakes or getting scammed.
Am I being scammed?
While scams happen everywhere in the world, there are a few good rules to keep in mind to ensure you don’t end up losing your money while renting an apartment in Italy.
It is known that several people have been arrested for renting non-existent or not-as-seeen-online homes in Italy. In order to make your move to Italy as smooth as possible, we've now compiled a list of the best techniques to avoid being scammed while renting in Italy.
1 If it doesn't look true, probably it isn't.
Look at the price, if the one displayed is definitely low for a 14-bedroom mansion, it's likely to be a scam. Pay attention to the price tag and if fits the property in comparison with others on the market in the same area.
2 Info attached
If the information provided by the ad is little or vague, it's probably a fake advert. Make sure to contact the landlord for additional info regarding the apartment. If they reply with a standard, lenghty email asking you to pay, to send them your ID or that they can't meet you in person or show you the property, there is a very high chance that's a scammy property. Steer clear. Thanks to Spotahome's Homecheckers you don't have to worry about the genuinity of our adverts on our site since we check each and every property before putting them up for renting.
3 Do not share your personal info
A common scam in the rental industry are operated by identity thieves. Acting as landlords, they will ask for your ID card or passport with the excuse to give you additional information or to prepare the contract. Don't ever send your personal info unless you've already seen the property and/or met the landlord.
4 Don't have send money in advance
Some professional scammers use elaborated emails with almost reasonable content to convince you to send them money before seeing the property. They might say that there is another person interested and the one who pays first will get the apartment, they might say that they are abroad and a very busy cousin will show you the apartment upon payment. Just don't. Don't ever pay for something you haven't seen.
5 Use known, professional rental websites
A good practice is to only rent properties through actual rental websites. You might have to pay a little fee, but the upside is that your money is never going to waste. As an extra security step, when you rent one of our properties, your first payment is made through our website. We will transfer the money to the landlord 48 hours after you move in, unless you contact us with a problem.
Additionally, always make sure that you are visiting the real website and not a cloned one by checking the Url.
6 Always get a written agreement before paying
Your landlord has shown you a great property, the price is right and you can't wait to move in. Well, hold your horses. You need to get a written agreement that states you are going to move in. It's a bad, but common practice in Italy (and everywhere else) to close verbal agreement with many tenants, get them all to pay for the same property, but then no one gets it.
7 Don't pay in cash
Never pay a landlord cash, especially before you’ve signed a rental contract. You must have an electronic trail which allows you to get your money back if something goes wrong.
8 No keys in the mail
It might be stupid, but when you get all excited about your new home, it might seem faster and easier to get your keys directly in your mail. Ops. It is not, especially because they might never arrive if you're being scammed.
9 Confirm the right to rent
Before signing a contract or paying a rent, always make sure to get the "catasto" (land register) information of the apartment. You need to confirm your landlord’s ownership of the flat or the right to sublet before agreeing to sign a document.
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