Rental Scam Checklist for Tenants

In 2023, almost 1.8 million SGD was lost by 300 people to rental scammers. If you are a tenant in Singapore looking to rent your next room, here are the top 5 steps you can take to prevent being scammed

Step 1: Avoid Facebook or Carousell Listings if possible

Majority of scams take place via Facebook or Carousell listings because anybody can post a listing there. If possible, go through Propertyguru, or SRX Websites as only approved agents can list properties there.

Step 2: Check CEA Registry of Agent

The agent should have a valid record. Check CEA Registry for the validity of their license with their Name, Contact Number or CEA License Number. Generally, if they are anxious to show you a picture of their CEA identity card (usually on a table or on the armrest of a car), it’s a scam.

Step 3: CEA Identity Card

On viewing day, the agent should be wearing a lanyard with the CEA identity card to identify as a registered agent. A common scam tactic is to tell you that they are busy and that their assistant will show the unit on their behalf. Assistants are not allowed to do the tasks of a registered agent including showing the unit.

Step 4: Check the Tenancy Agreement

Check for unusual clauses and inconsistencies in the tenancy agreement. Compare it with the standard one from Council of Estate Agencies (CEA)‚Äč. Check for skewed logos or clauses that make no sense at all. It’s a tell-tale sign of a scam.

Step 5: Check Owner IC and Ownership

If the property is represented by an owner and no agents are involved, check the validity of the owner’s IC as well as the ownership of the property.

If you are interested, I’ve created a short PDF download where I’ve included links to do all the necessary checks on the agent and owner to prevent you from being a victim of rental scam. You can download the checklist below

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