It is not because we titled this post with the words, "Santa Clarita Valley", renting in today's climate can be dangerous wherever you are. If you are outside of the Santa Clarita Valley the same games are being played with different people.
On Line Rental Resources for Santa Clarita and Beyond: This is a key player in the Rental and Leasing scammer game. They use the on-line systems, internet marketing and search engine optimization to mislead and to misinform the public. Plus, it makes the scammer some real coin. For example, you are looking for a rental so you go to the Famous Google or Bing search engine. You type in the Words Santa Clarita Rental - Las Vegas Rental - "any city" followed by the words rental. The scammers have been able to position their websites on page 1 - some even pay for "ad words" placement within the sponsored ads on some of the search engines. It's not Google or Bing's fault. The Fault lies 100% on those that are utilizing predatory practices in the rental and lease world.
How do you know if you are about to be scammed. Most of the the time the scammer will talk fast and give you very little time to ask questions. They will make the deal appear too good to be true, without having you question it. What you have to do is pull back and make sure you are dealing with a "real identifiable" person. A True "landlord's" representative. Check if they are licensed in some way, shape or form. Get their name and double check it with the local Santa Clarita Board of Realtors. Get some form of Legit Identification. Write down the number for your records.
See if they have other paperwork giving them authority from the landlord to act as their rental/lease agent. One of the way you can make sure that they are who they say they are is if the Rental/Lease listing has been placed in the Santa Clarita Board of Realtors. That way, there is an enforcement arm within the Board of Realtors. Someone cannot just enter a rental or lease in our system, THE MLS, without being a certified member under a True Broker and with a Real Estate company.
Even Rental and Leasing management companies use the multiple listing service when placing Rentals and Leases on the market for tenants. That way, you are assured of dealing with a "licensed" representative of the Landlord.
Will finding a rental in the Multiple listing service guarantee me that the landlord/owner are current on their mortgage payments? Can you let your guard down with regard to a potential foreclosure looming over the property you are going to be renting? No - in both cases - Negative. If I were renting in today's climate - I'd ask for more than someone's word about them being current on their mortgage payments. I'd want them to show me a statement. However, there may be more than one loan on the property being rented. Then ask for statements regarding both loans. Either one can foreclosure due to non-payment.
I'm not trying to scare you when wanting to rent or lease in today's climate. I just want you to have the best in advice to protect yourselves when approaching the Santa Clarita rental or leasing plate.
BTW - there are two primary game players in the Santa Clarita rental and lease market. One are licensed realtors that handle rentals and leases, but also do Real Estate buyer and seller representation. The other are Management companies that do ZERO in the way of buyer and seller representation - but only function as Landlord and Tenant representatives.
From both descriptions - you can see who might have ulterior motives when representing you. Just make sure they are not steering you and you are moving at your very own comfortable pace. If you are wanting to rent or lease and the agent does both and they then try to manipulate you into buying real estate when you are not ready, run away. The same goes if you are a property owner that want's to rent our their home, condo or town-home, if the agent is dual status and they attempt to convince you to sell your rental - run for the hills.
Be Safe - get the best in advice and make sure you do your very own due diligence with those you are choosing to represent you. Here are some resources you may find helpful. Remember those MLS based rentals and leases I spoke about - click here to view that updated list for all of Southern California.
If you are a property owner and are looking for a management company that only does property management and does zero in the way of seller or buyer representation - we have a couple of the Top Santa Clarita property management companies we can refer you to - click here...