How to Safely Rent a Property from an Absentee Landlord
by Ice Artificio
Jan 21, 2019
An absentee landlord is when the owner of the property does not live in or near the condominium or real estate they are renting out.
Today, many Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) and foreign nationals are investing heavily in condos and then rent them out. As a result there are a number of absentee landlords and unfortunately, scammers have used this excuse to exploit or take advantage of people both from the lessor and renter side.
1. Do some digging
A simple online search of the broker, owner, and building goes a long way. Doing a reverse search on the images is another way to check where the same image has been posted and if the details on those listing sites are very different or shows different owners, that is a red flag and you must be very careful.
2. Talk to the building admin
The department should be able to provide a certificate of ownership to verify the name of the owner. You can also check with them if the lessor’s broker is someone they recognize or have dealt with in the past. They also have blacklisted brokers that have shady practices or are difficult to deal with
3. Do not pay anything until after you’ve signed the contract
We always try to remind renters that there should be NO VIEWING FEE. You are going to pay for the length of your stay so paying them to view a property you are still considering is a big no-no.
4. Payments should be payable to the owner
Like we mentioned in the lessor side, banks are required to ask for proof of identification to open an account or if they are encashing checks, they are required to show IDs. So unless the unit is owned by the condominium, all payments should be addressed to the name in the title. We have seen a number of brokers pose as attorneys in fact and ask for the payments for the owner.
5. Ask to talk to the owner
Even if it is through virtual communication such as email or skype, the owner should be reachable to you should you have any major concerns. This is also a good time to get to know the owner. Remember, renting is a two way street. Both of you should be able to talk to each other should questions or problems arise in the future.
Renting your own property can be unnerving. Absentee landlords aren’t necessarily a red flag, it just means you’d need to take some extra precaution, just to be sure. With due diligence, we are sure you will find the best property out there for you to make your second home.
Do you have some tips of your own? Share them on the comments below.