When it comes to renting, there's one golden rule you have to keep in mind: If it seems too good to be true, it probably is. With just about everything available online these days—including real estate listings, it’s almost a given that con artists will try to take advantage of future homeowners. To keep you from being duped by ill-intentioned landowners, watch out for these things: 

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1. If they ask you to wire money to them before your first meeting.

If the real estate agents ask you for anything at all before you meet them or see the apartment, move on to the next listing immediately. There's a hundred percent chance they're tricking you into giving them money. 

2. If the price doesn't match the look of the home.

 A two-bedroom apartment for P10, 000 or a studio for P20, 000? Either the listings are mislabled or it is an outright scam. Make sure you ask for a breakdown of the pricing from the real estate agent before considering anything. 

3. If the home has bad and terrible layouts.

Is the kitchen right outside your bedroom door? Do you only have one bathroom in a two-storey townhouse? While this may not be under the control of real estate agents, remember that you're going to live in this place for a long time. If you are uncomfortable from the get-go, it's best to skip it. 

4. If the landlord avoids questions about the community surrounding the property. 

If on the first visit you see a toxic waste dump or a leaking oil drum in the neighborhood that the real estate agent didn't tell you about, move on to the next one. You never know what else he or she is keeping from you. 

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5. If the real estate agents are hard to contact. 

If they're always "at another appointment" or "out of the country," chances are, there is a scam brewing. Some even go as far as sending fake keys or false documents so don't forget to double check everything.

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This story originally appeared on Realliving.com.ph.

* Minor edits have been made by the Femalenetwork.com editors.

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