With some 21.6% of Australians enrolled to study at a tertiary or technical institution, a large number of students will continually be searching for off-campus accommodation. These numbers can add to the pressure of securing a place at university and accommodation.
The warning signs – What to watch out for
- When searching for rental properties, be wary of properties that sound too good to be true. You can usually spot this when a property is significantly cheaper than other similar properties in the same area.
- Constant excuses from an owner as to why the property can’t be viewed in person – they may tell you they’re overseas.
- The owner may tell you that securing a property requires you to pay an upfront fee via money transfer.
Protect yourself from rental scams
- Don’t pay deposits or send money over money transfer if you haven’t personally seen the property. It is sometimes difficult to recover money transferred this way.
- Run a search of the name of the person offering you the property. You may find their email address provides useful information about past scams.
- Insist on inspecting the property yourself – don’t just rely on a drive past. With these types of scams, the property may often genuinely exist, but it could be owned by someone else.
- Do not trust an email that says ‘pay money and I will have the keys delivered to you.’
- Never give money to a landlord when you haven’t seen the property
- Keep copies of any correspondence, banking details and the listing itself.
Report a scam
If you’re concerned about a listing you see on Rent.com.au, note down all the relevant information, such as:
– The property address;
– The link to the property listing;
– The email address of the person offering the property; and
– Any correspondence you’ve had with the person
Report any potential scams to Rent.com.au by calling 1300 736 810 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org