1. Before viewing a property, please verify that the pictures in the advertisement match the pictures on Property Rental Jamaica.
2. Always view a property inside and outside before entering into an agreement or parting with any money. Any genuine landlord or agent will be able to arrange for you to enter the property.
3. View the property from the outside at a different time of day from that arranged, for example in the evening to ensure that a ‘vacant’ property is not already occupied.
4. Your deposit should only be paid after you have fully viewed the property, determined what the rent includes and verified property ownership.
5. A good way to check the ownership of a property is to look at the property title or the Jamaica property tax portal.
6. Always ask for a receipt for your deposit and have proof that your payment was received.
7. If dealing with an agent online, always call them on the phone or make sure they have a fixed address, and visit their premises.
8. Ask for legally required documents. They may give you the paper trail you need to be confident an advert for a property is not a scam.
9. Ask the landlord for identification and or proof of management or ownership of the property.
10. Check that the rental price is typical of properties of that type in the area in which you are looking. If something seems too good to be true, it probably is.
11. Do not forward money via money transfer services such as Western Union and MoneyGram. They are intended only for transactions between yourself and people you know and trust. They can also be picked up virtually anywhere in the world and with a minimum of or no identification – and are almost impossible to trace once the money has been collected.
12. Wherever possible, pay deposits and up-front rentals by credit card as this may provide protection against fraud.
13. If you are a landlord renting out a property, do not accept payments that involve redirecting part of the rent to another party.
14. Always check references and carry out credit checks on prospective tenants.
15. Always ask for proof of income from prospective tenants. A good rule is their income should be three (3) times the rent.
16. Do not be afraid to ask questions, however silly you think they may sound.