Arizona Department of Real Estate (ADRE) –Informational Alert
With the NFL’s Super Bowl coming to Glendale, Arizona on February 1st, businesses are advertising to homeowners in the Phoenix metropolitan area through the internet, claiming that homeowners can make thousands of dollars by renting out their homes to visitors during the big event. The businesses, which may also advertise on street signs and on direct mailers and flyers left at homes, say that they will advertise the homeowners’ houses for rent and, in some cases, that the businesses already have tenants lined up to rent vacation homes, or that the businesses will find tenants for the homes. Before homeowners decide to pay any of these businesses for their advertising or leasing services, they should do their homework and determine whether the businesses are legitimate and exactly what services they will provide. Specifically:
• Persons or businesses that offer to lease your home out generally must be licensed by the Arizona Department of Real Estate. You can check out the Department’s website at www.azre.gov to determine whether someone is licensed by that agency;
• Beware that some businesses charge significant upfront advertising fees but may do little more than advertise your home on Craigslist or other free sites. Ask the business exactly how, where, and for how long they will advertise your property;
• Ask the business where it is physically located and whether it is authorized to conduct business in Arizona;
• Research the business’ reputation by checking with the Better Business Bureau (www.bbb.org) or similar sources.
“We’ve seen these types of rental scams before,” said Attorney General Horne. “Consumers should ensure they are doing business with licensed, reputable rental agencies, especially before they pay any up-front fees.”
Judy Lowe, Commissioner of the Arizona Department of Real Estate, echoed Horne’s sentiments. “The Arizona Department of Real Estate is committed to strong enforcement of licensing laws, and has taken action against unlicensed rental agents who have attempted to profit from major sports events held in the Phoenix area in the past,” said Commissioner Lowe. “We encourage consumers to check our website to make sure they are dealing with a licensed real estate professional.”
If you feel you have been a victim of consumer fraud, or have been a victim of a home rental scam, please file a complaint with the Attorney General’s Office online at www.azag.gov or contact the Consumer Information & Complaints Unit at (602) 542-5763 (Phoenix) / (520) 628-6504 (Tucson) / (800) 352-8431 (outside Metro Phoenix).