Suspicious: A landlord on immobilienscout24 asks to "activate" the Documents

25 posts in this topic

I have been searching for an apartment in Munich, and actively use the website immobilienscout24 (https://www.immobilienscout24.de/) for that purpose. In addition, I also joined their "MieterPlus" program, which is a paid subscription (at least 2 months), that enables Users (renters) to better present themselves to prospective Landlords. For example, immobilienscout24 connects to our bank to get the Salary records as well as Rental Payment records. Without this, we might find it difficult to convince Landlords as they can just assume we photoshop the bank transactions.

 

Recently, one post caught my attention. After contacting the Landlord, he replied, asking me to "activate" (freischalten) the Documents, such as "Gehaltsnachweis, Selbstauskunft" (according to him). Please see an excerpt from his message:

 

Quote

Danke sehr für Ihre Kurzbeschreibung. Sie haben auch Dokumente von Ihnen hinterlegt. Können Sie die Dokumente für mich freischalten? Die Wohnung habe ich selbst als angehender Eigentümer gestern besichtigen können. Die Schlüssel werde ich am 27.6 erhalten, so dass die Wohnung ab dem 1.7 zu beziehen wäre.

 

I contacted support from immobilienscout24, but as today is public holiday (26.05), so no "human" assistant is available. I searched Google for this issue, but so far, no meaningful returns.

 

The issue looks suspicious because: I believe, he, as a landlord, should have had access to my Documents already. When a User contacts a Landlord, they just click on "Anbieter kontaktieren" (as showed in "1-Contact Landlord"). Then a dialog appears, in which we can clearly see "Mein Profil mitsenden" (as showed in "2-Message"), indicating that the Landlord will have all needed Documents. Why does he have to ask me again in the message (via immobilienscout24)?

 

Another suspicious act: while waiting for supports from immobilienscout24, he sent me another message (via immobilienscout24), insisting me to contact through Email. Typically, landlords are very picky. They never want to spend much time on a single Renter.

 

Beside this issue, I found the information presentation between renters and landlords on this platform is a little bit unfair: we, as renters, have to show up all documents, e.g. Last 3-month salary and rental payment, SCHUFA, etc. But we have no idea about the landlord (their icon is unclickable; we can't see their profile). How immobilienscout24 checks if the landlord is legitimate and not a fraudster?

 

I searched around and found some useful tips in general: renting is a face-2-face business in Germany. We have to get to the place physically, and see by our own eyes that the landlord opens the door to the apartment we want to rent. No money transfer beforehand. We only make the Deposit on the day we receive the key to the apartment. Better to send money via banks (instead of cash). Ask for landlord's ID card. Contact the local court (Amstgericht) to check if he's the true owner of the apartment. Watch out for "too good to be true" posts and landlords who are being abroad. If we want to buy furniture from previous renters, that should be a separate contract. etc.

 

Any help/advice is appreciated. Thank you.

 

1-Contact Landlord.jpg

2-Message.jpg

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Hmm! Could be anything, write back and ask for clarification. If the landlord is serious he will clarify, if not they will be asking for ways to access your bank account. I would not read too much in this but keep your head on a swivel.

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As a landlord who has used immoscout a few times to find tenants, I can say it definitely smells fishy.

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@slammer Yes. I already did that. I asked what he meant by "activate the documents", and he replied "Es geht um die Unterlagen wie Gehaltsnachweis, Selbstauskunft usw.".

 

In general, I restrain myself from giving up too much personal information directly (meaning: I type in, or attach personal information sheets in the chat). I relies on the platform immobilienscout24 (I need to trust it as I have no choice): if the platform asks me to fill out something, e.g. name, address, I do it. But not in the direct chat with some strangers.

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3 minutes ago, mtbiking said:

As a landlord who has used immoscout a few times to find tenants, I can say it definitely smells very fishy.

 

@mtbiking Thanks for the information. I wonder if you, as a landlord, can see all the needed Documents from prospective tenants, on the platform immobilienscout24? And when you register as a landlord, how does immobilienscout24 make sure that you're the true landlord (not Frauster (execuse me, please))?

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15 minutes ago, GoneWithTheWind said:

@slammer Yes. I already did that. I asked what he meant by "activate the documents", and he replied "Es geht um die Unterlagen wie Gehaltsnachweis, Selbstauskunft usw.".

 

In general, I restrain myself from giving up too much personal information directly (meaning: I type in, or attach personal information sheets in the chat). I relies on the platform immobilienscout24 (I need to trust it as I have no choice): if the platform asks me to fill out something, e.g. name, address, I do it. But not in the direct chat with some strangers.


Personally, I only ask for the documents after the potential tenant has seen the place and manifests interest. There’s some basic info I need before the viewing, though, in order not to waste anyone’s time: income (higher than x is enough information) and how many people would be moving in being the most relevant.

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9 minutes ago, GoneWithTheWind said:

 

@mtbiking Thanks for the information. I wonder if you, as a landlord, can see all the needed Documents from prospective tenants, on the platform immobilienscout24? And when you register as a landlord, how does immobilienscout24 make sure that you're the true landlord (not Frauster (execuse me, please))?


I can see the documents of some people, of most I don’t (not uploaded, etc). I don’t care: I only need the documents before we sign the contract.

 

Regarding your second question, Immoscout doesn’t do any check on me that I’m aware of and they don’t get any documents from me. I guess they’d just block my account if people reported me as fraudulent.

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@slammer Then I believe it is more than enough for the landlord to see my personal information, through the portal.

 

Here is my profile on immobilienscout24. As you can see, I submit all possible pieces of information. All the landlords need to do is to visit my profile page. Asking me again in the chat for such information is suspicious...

 

3.jpg

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Don't show anything until you have seen the apartment. 

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31 minutes ago, yourkeau said:

Don't show anything until you have seen the apartment. 

@yourkeau The problem is landlords have the upper hand on this matter (renting out in Germany). The more renters are exposed to them, the more convinced they are, the higher the chance for renters to be selected.

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for me, being a landlord, it's irrelevant what a profile says on Immoscout. I need to get "the feel" for a potential tenant in person.

 

If they present themselves well in their initial email, with enough basic detail to answer my most important (obvious) questions - like why do they want to rent my apartment, what is their source of income, how many people will be moving in - I'll ask for all other documentation after we've met at the apartment and both want to sign a contract.

 

Sadly enough many candidates write a message like "hi, I want to rent your place. When can I have the keys?" That's not gonna fly, not even with SCHUFA or Gehaltsnachweis.

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In the "Eigene Dokumente", I included:

  • polizeiführung zeugnis
  • hausratversicherung
  • privat haftpflichtversicherung
  • bescheinigung mietschuldenfreiheit
  • a photo of me and my colleages.

The last entry is to "personalize" my application. Landlords can see me as a human being integrated into German society.

 

I tried to maximize my chance of getting an apartment. Some would even suggest:

  • Recommendation letter.
  • Niederlassungserlaubnis.

Unfortunately, I don't have these 2.

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28 minutes ago, GoneWithTheWind said:

@yourkeau The problem is landlords have the upper hand on this matter (renting out in Germany). The more renters are exposed to them, the more convinced they are, the higher the chance for renters to be selected.

Read @karin_brenig's post. 

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1 minute ago, GoneWithTheWind said:

In the "Eigene Dokumente", I included:

  • polizeiführung zeugnis
  • hausratversicherung
  • privat haftpflichtversicherung
  • bescheinigung mietschuldenfreiheit
  • a photo of me and my colleages.

The last entry is to "personalize" my application. Landlords can see me as a human being integrated into German society.

 

I tried to maximize my chance of getting an apartment. Some would even suggest:

  • Recommendation letter.
  • Niederlassungserlaubnis.

Unfortunately, I don't have these 2.

 

all of that can be helpful - or not. When I last had a vacancy to fill, I posted an ad on ImmoScout.

 

There where over 3000 views, over 300 emails to sort through, within 10 days.
Out of those 300 interested people, I invited 6 to a showing. Not all 6 at once, but individually in the order of my personal "preference".

The third candidate is still renting my apartment now.

 

Upon my request he gave me SCHUFA and his last three paystubs. If they present a foreign ID, I'd ask to see their residence permit too.
I wouldn't ask for a Führungszeugnis, or Hausratversicherung.
I don't need fotos of the person, I can see for myself when we meet.

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@karin_brenig Thank you for your inputs.

 

By providing SCHUFA, landlords make sure renters are not in debt default.

 

By providing Führungszeugnis, they rest assured (to certain extent) renters were not criminal in the past, and got caught (of course).

 

The aforementioned "versicherung" are not the original contract, but the certificate (bescheinigung) from the Insurance providers, saying I'm having the contract with them.

 

I just had a haircut before my first upcoming "besichtigungstermin". It seems to me I can never be "too prepared". By dressing nicely and taking care of my appearance, the landlords are unlikely to see me as some drug addicts. :)

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I'd give potential tenants bonus points for providing proof that they have private liability insurance. I even made it part of the lease contract that they have to maintain it.

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2 hours ago, karin_brenig said:

There where over 3000 views, over 300 emails to sort through, within 10 days.
Out of those 300 interested people, I invited 6 to a showing. 


Based on what did you choose those 6 persons out of 3000? 

In what way did they stand out in their emails? Assuming they didn’t send you any personal data (like payslips or photos)

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3 hours ago, SpaceOne said:


Based on what did you choose those 6 persons out of 3000? 

In what way did they stand out in their emails? Assuming they didn’t send you any personal data (like payslips or photos)


I’m not Karin, but am a landlord. We have rented out our apartment four times in a few years, so obviously we’ve had some good luck and some not-such-good luck. The first tenant was a guy from my husband’s workplace - he was great but got a job offer in his home country and left after a year. The 2nd were bad ‘miet nomads’ and we were quite lucky they left on their own after 2 months. 3rd were two best friends just finished their apprenticeships - decent but left after two years when one moved in with his girlfriend. 

 

All but the first came from ImmobilienScout24. Lesson learned from the bad people was to screen better and require documentation. When choosing who to invite out of all ad respondents, we screened for people with steady employment, decent salary, no pets, and person-to-room ratio. We were happy with the young guys (#3) but once they left wanted to find tenants who would stay longer. Frequent turnover is work.

 

Current renters (#4) are a middle-aged couple moving in together, both with strong ties to this neighborhood/area, and have each been working at their employer for many years. They included in the initial contact whatever comes with ImmoScout premium membership, I think confirmation of employment, salary, SCHUFA, etc. Some of the other people who viewed the apartment times #3 and #4 would probably have been fine; in the end of course only one can get the place.

 

We absolutely screened out people who included no info in their initial contact, people who seemed sketchy or like a scam, and people with too low an income-to-rental price ratio. We are fine with foreigners, but would want to see evidence that they’ll likely stay in Germany.

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8 minutes ago, MollyWolly said:

and people with too low an income-to-rental price ratio.

 

We screen out people with too high of an income to stay in our studio long term

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17 hours ago, SpaceOne said:


Based on what did you choose those 6 persons out of 3000? 

In what way did they stand out in their emails? Assuming they didn’t send you any personal data (like payslips or photos)

 

First of all - I didn't have to sort through 3000 people (those just viewed the ad).
I had to sort out 300 emails. That wasn't so bad - a lot of people just write "I want to rent, let me have it".

 

Out of the roughly 40 decent emails, I picked the ones that explained themselves in terms of what they had to offer:

1. motivation (why do they want to rent my apartment)
2. source of income (how much do they make)
3. number of people moving in

 

I eliminated the ones that mentioned pets, noisy hobbies, or other potential for conflict.

 

 

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