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How to Avoid Bait and Switch

Bait and Switch is a real-world scam and it is a huge waste of time and energy for everyone involved. If a rental looks too-good-to-be-true, chances are it is a scam and most probably bait and switch. Before you finalize your next destination, it is important to get yourself familiar with such scams and what you can do to void them.

How do Bait and Switch work?

In the NYC rental market, a renter is lured by a lower-priced apartment which does not exist in real (the bait). With such a lucrative offer, many renters contact the landlord to get an awesome deal. But then you hear that the apartment is not available. However, the agent then says he/she has other apartments to show you for a higher price (the switch).

How to avoid?

Before you contact a landlord/agent, make sure:

  • The property has a real address
  • To call the agent’s office directly
  • To compare the price of selected rental with the average cost of the neighborhood
  • To read the terms and conditions
  • To research the seller

If you check all these boxes, chances are you will get a verified rental. Last but not the least, never go for a property which is out of your budget or you feel uncomfortable with.