Booking scam beware

Noosa Main BeachIt’s a quiet time of year. Your holiday rental property is vacant and a last-minute booking comes in.
Do you wait for the rental payment to hit your account or trust an online bank transfer receipt and hand over the keys?
If you answered yes to the latter, you’re not alone.
In the rush of everyday life, and often a genuine attempt to do the right thing by a desperate sounding renter, property managers and landlords are releasing property keys without payment in hand.
And it’s a decision that’s causing some grief.
Over the past few months, RentCover has received several identical insurance claims in Western Australia
that follow the same story:
  • A caller requests an immediate booking for a week or two.
  • Rental payment is requested.
  • The caller provides payment proof in the form of an online bank transfer receipt and credit card details for security. 
  • Keys are handed over.
  • The caller’s payment never appears in the landlord’s account and their credit card is declined.
  • A home inspection finds the property unlocked, keys missing, household items missing, contents damaged and the property in a general mess.
While insurance like RentCoverShortTerm provides peace of mind that you’ll be covered for stolen and
damaged items, and bookings cancelled during this time, the inconvenience of dealing with the police,
reviewing your household property, changing locks and even having to cancel future bookings from regular
renters, can create work and anguish you just don’t need.
So, as we enter a busy summer season of holiday and home rentals, be sure to tick all the boxes before you
handover the code or keys to any of your holiday rental properties.