Island life can certainly be described as too good to be true. It is paradise, after all! But if an island rental seems too good to be true, then it might be just that.
St. Croix is full of vacation and long-term rentals in the form of houses, apartments, condos, cottages, and villas. And with technology these days, it seems easier than ever to find a rental. Unfortunately, it’s also easier to be scammed.
Craigslist is a great tool for finding just about anything, but when it comes to finding a place to live, there are precautions you should take (see below). This is through no fault of Craigslist at all – it’s just easier for dishonest people to take advantage of others.
An alternative to Craigslist is to work with a rental agent. Our rental agents can help save you time and the hassle of sorting through listings, not to mention the headache of a potential fraudulent listing. Our St. Croix for Rent web site, features listings that we manage and we also have access to listings from other reputable sources.
Another good reason to work with a rental agent when relocating to St. Croix is that many landlords may not even talk with you until you’ve arrived on island. You may get frustrated when Craigslist posters don’t respond or your Facebook comments go ignored. A rental agent can be your go-between to help you find short- or long-term housing that fits your needs.
Finding the perfect vacation rental is a somewhat different (and less scary) story. We welcome you to search our vacation rentals and we trust many of the vacation rental web sites out there. We also post some of our clients’ homes on VRBO, Airbnb and HomeAway when they want to rent for extra income.
Here are some things to keep in mind when searching for a rental on Craigslist:
- A listing should be complete with photos inside and out. Be suspicious of someone who cannot provide photos or only has photos of the outside of a rental.
- Only rent a unit you can see in person. If you arrange to see a unit and they tell you that the unit you would be renting isn’t available, but another is, it’s a red flag.
- Never pay anything up front. Be suspicious of someone saying that they’ve had multiple inquiries and they need money to hold a unit for you.
- Enter a professional lease. Sure, island living comes with many charming simplicities, but a landlord should have a professional lease that will hold up by law.
- Do a quick Google search on the Contact Name provided on Craigslist. If they’ve been involved in a scam, you may find information about it online.