I am sure some of you have seen this, but it was a new twist on an old scam to get money. But it is in our industry and harms us all.
An ad, this one on Craig's List, was offering a great house (great local community, upscale) for about half the real rental value. Too good to be true? Well you are right. You write the owner via email (nice normal Mr. and Mrs. Jones) and they apologize for not calling you back directly, but (in this case called out of the country) and will be gone a few years. Do not need income from sale of home, but want to rent it out to "responsible" couple who will maintain its perfect condition in exchange for below market rent. Sounds like a good deal. All you need to do is to fill out the application and send them one months deposit (in this case $1,000) and they will mail you the house keys and all documents for renting. Of course if you do not like the house your money is refunded. And if any of you believe that statement may I interest you in some swamp land in the Jersey meadowlands??
Pass this along to your young buyers who are desperate to get out of apartments and into a home, they may see this as a middle step.