As our readers know by now, TheRentalGirl.com is free of charge to renters. However, we get a lot of calls from folks telling us how they’ve been scammed elsewhere by rental listing sites charging a fee to sign up. They log on and find either very few listings, scams, or listings that have long since expired. One name that has come up over and over again recently is monsterrentals.com. Buyer beware. For a fee of $9.95 for one week, renters are finding old and expired listings. In fact, one of our very own listings from several years ago even showed up in one renters’ search. So before you pay, here’s the skinny on fee-based rental sites:
If any individual or company in the state of California charges a fee to renters for a pre-paid rental list, that individual or company must have special licensing with the BRE and insurance. These companies are regulated and must be properly vetted before having such privileges. Before you sign up with a company that charges a fee, check their status with the BRE.
The only fee-based site we currently recommend when apartment hunting in los angeles is Westside Rentals (westsiderentals.com). Their listings are as up to date as possible (based on information directly provided by landlords), and their sign-up process helps prevent scams.