Cuenca Rental Roulette: 8 Red Flags to Avoid

Welcome to the wild world of renting in Cuenca! While it can be an exciting adventure to find the perfect place to call home, it’s essential to be aware of some sneaky red flags that may pop up along the way. In this article, we’ll take you on a journey through eight rental red flags to watch out for in Cuenca.

So grab your detective hat, prepare your skeptical face, and let’s dive in.

1. Unsafe Living Conditions: The House of (Dis)Repair

Picture this: you find a charming property, but upon closer inspection, it resembles a dilapidated castle. Cue the dramatic music! Some landlords may try to rent out properties that are in disrepair or fail to meet basic safety standards. To avoid any “uh-oh” moments, make sure to thoroughly inspect the property before signing anything and demand repairs be done before you part ways with your hard-earned dinero.

2. Wasting Tenants’ Time: The Great Scheduling Circus

Welcome to the grand spectacle of simultaneous viewings! Agents sometimes schedule multiple parties at once to create a sense of competition and urgency. It may sound efficient, but the downside is that you might end up feeling like you’re in a rental version of The Hunger Games. Sadly, some second parties were never contenders for the rental—they were just pawns to put pressure on the primary tenants. Stay sharp and avoid becoming a tribute in this real estate game!

3. Deposit in Advance: The Hasty Handover

Beware when a landlord asks for a hefty security deposit before the rental agreement is finalized. This payment may be non-refundable, and there’s a chance the landlord might just vanish into thin air, leaving you deposit-less and feeling like a magician’s assistant. Protect yourself by never sending money to someone you haven’t met in person and always demand a receipt for any deposit made.

4. Hidden Fees: The Mysterious Monetary Maze

Ah, the elusive hidden fees – a real estate magician’s favorite trick. Some landlords conveniently forget to mention additional costs like utilities, maintenance, and cleaning fees. It’s like finding out your dream rental comes with a secret membership to the “Bill Collector’s Club.” Protect yourself by sleuthing out all potential fees before signing the rental agreement. Get them in writing and request invoices from the previous month. No surprises, please!

5. Overpricing: The Rental Racket

Don’t fall into the trap of overpriced rentals! Sometimes, landlords hike up prices like they’re selling unicorn tears, targeting unsuspecting expats and anyone who seems willing to pay. It’s like a game of “Guess the Rental Price” where you’re the one being played. Arm yourself with an experienced agent who knows the market like the back of their hand and can negotiate the landlord down to the true market rate. Don’t let the rental racket ruin your budget!

6. Agent Pocketing: The Two-Faced Deal

Beware of agents who try to make an extra buck by requesting more than one month’s deposit and rent to secure a rental. They might claim it’s a standard practice, but it’s more like a sleight of hand trick. The landlord often has no clue about this additional payment, and the agent happily pockets the second month’s deposit. Don’t let them make off with your hard-earned cash! Stay vigilant and demand transparency.

7. Fake Subletting: The Phantom Rental

Picture this: you’ve found the perfect rental, signed the agreement, and moved in, only to be confronted by the real owner who claims you’re living in their phantom property. Yikes! Some landlords engage in the dubious practice of renting out properties they don’t even own, collecting payments from unsuspecting tenants. Protect yourself by verifying ownership before committing and steer clear of any subletting shenanigans. No ghosts allowed!

8. Landlord’s Belongings: The Clutter Conundrum

You move into your new rental, only to discover the previous tenant’s, or even the landlord’s, belongings still lingering around like party crashers who refuse to leave. Some landlords may ask you to babysit their stuff for a few days, but then mysteriously disappear, leaving you with the clutter. Do you risk legal action by tossing their things or embrace the chaos? It’s a conundrum! Communicate clearly with the landlord and establish a timeline for their belongings’ removal. Don’t let their stuff cramp your style!

Wrapping Up

Congratulations, rental detectives! You are now armed with the knowledge of 8 red flags to watch out for when renting in Cuenca. Remember, research is your ally, contracts are your shield, and instincts are your secret weapon. Stay vigilant, keep your sense of humor intact, and don’t hesitate to seek help from trustworthy real estate agencies like YapaTree Properties. Now, go forth and conquer the rental world with your newfound wisdom. Happy hunting!

Next Steps:

Cuenca Rental Roulette: 8 Red Flags to Avoid (Transcript)

Esteban Mendieta    00:00

Today’s video is about renting red flags. Let’s go.

Esteban Mendieta    00:03

Hi guys, this is Esteban. I’m the real estate facilitator for the YapaTree Properties. Renting a property can be a daunting task, especially if you’re new to the process. Unfortunately, there are some landlords and real estate agents who will take advantage of unsuspecting gringo renters. In this video will be covering some of the most common red flags to watch out for when renting a property in Cuenca so you can protect yourself and your finances.

Esteban Mendieta    00:27

Unsafe living conditions. Some landlords might rent out properties that are in disrepair or do not meet basic safety standards. To protect yourself, thoroughly inspect the property before signing any rental agreement and request any necessary repair to be made before paying the deposit and 1st month’s rent. Once you pay the deposit, you might find that incentives to fix any repairs suddenly vanishes.

Esteban Mendieta    00:51

Wasting tenants time to close another deal. Some agents schedule viewings with multiple parties at the same time. It’s tempting to think that agents are doing this in the spirit of efficiency, but they’re more likely motivation is to add competition and urgency into the leasing process. The worst part of for the tenants is that on many occasions, the second party was never really in the running for the rental. The agent just uses them so they show up and put pressure on the primary tenants they want to close.

Esteban Mendieta    01:21

Deposit in advance. Be very careful if a landlord asks for a larger front payment of security deposit before the rental agreement is finalized. This payment is often not refundable and the Lander may not fall through with the rental agreement. To protect yourself, never send money to someone you have not met in person and always be sure to get a receipt for any deposit made.

Esteban Mendieta    01:44

Hidden fees. Some landlords may not disclose all the fees associated with renting a property such as utilities, maintanence costs, and cleaning fees. To protect yourself, be sure to ask about all potential fees and get them in writing before signing a rental agreement. It’s also a good idea to request, or at least personally inspect, all invoices for the previous month so you have a very good idea of the payments to expect.

Esteban Mendieta    02:09

Overpricing. Overpricing can be hard for expats to pick up on, as they don’t necessarily have the market knowledge to know any better. This isn’t just a gringo thing as it’s pretty common for Cuencano landlords to increase the rental price to anyone they think they will pay, including Ecuadorians from Quito, expats from Colombia, etcetera. The best way for expats to combat this is to use an experienced agent that truly understands the market price and that is willing and able to negotiate a landlord to the true market rate. Many agents don’t want to have this conversation as it means they might miss out on the listing. Or the agent may actively encourage this behavior as it increases their commissions too.

Esteban Mendieta    02:53

Agent pockets additional months deposit. Be very careful if the agent requests more than one month deposit and one month’s rent to secure the rental. There are several agents in Cuenca that will happily tell you the deposit is 2 months rent but the landlord knows nothing about it and the agent pockets the second month’s deposit.

Esteban Mendieta    03:13

Fake subletting. The landlord may rent out property that they do not own and collect payments from renters. The real owner of the property may eventually discover the scam and evict the tenant. To protect yourself, verify the ownership of the property and avoid subletting arrangements.

Esteban Mendieta    03:29

Landlord fails to remove belongings. Some landlords might request a new tenant keeps the landlord’s personal belongings in the property for a couple of days until they have time to pick it up. The landlord might take more than a couple of days. In some cases might not be willing to take his her stuff. This can leave you in an awkward position. Do you throw out their belongings and risk legal action from the landlord, or just put up with the clutter?

Esteban Mendieta    03:57

That’s our final tip for you today. We hope you find this video helpful. When you’re looking for your next property to rent in Cuenca, remember to always do your research, keep an eye on these red flags, read, contract carefully, and trust your instincts. Of course, if you like our help finding your next Cuenca rental, you’re welcome to contact us at the YapaTree Properties. You’ll find links to our current rental listings and contact us page in the description. Chao and thanks for watching. I’ll catch you next time.

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