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I emailed a rental application for an apartment to a potential landlord. I've spoken with them over the phone, saw the unit in person and they emailed the application and I emailed it back (because I live out of state)... along with personal information like my drivers license and paystubs. Now, I can't seem to get them to respond to me... I've followed up twice now since sending it (once a day) and I'm feeling uncomfortable about having sent it with not a single sort of response, not even a declined for the apartment or any such acknowledgement. Not sure what I should do or if there is anything i can do at this point beside know better to not do it again. any advice?

  • It sounds like you want to ascertain whether the contact information you employed- email address, phone number- are both correct- they refer to the right person/people- and are in the custody of the right person/people. Someone having keys to an apartment is not a guarantee of either. Ways to cross reference- property records- most cities and property sites have them online. Other tenants- should not be hard to find residents in a multi-unit dwelling. Neighbors- should not be hard to find people who live nearby. A local coffee shop may be willing to post something asking for contact info. – Jonah Benton Aug 21 '16 at 4:19
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What you can do now

Many characteristics of houses in the US (I am assuming you live in the US) are a matter of public record. This includes ownership history. These records can can be consulted through the county recorder/county tax assessor's office. Many have a website you can use and offer records dating back to the sixties. I am not sure whether such inquiries come at a fee, but it stands to reason. Example here. You could attempt to validate that the individual you dealt with actually owns the property.

What you could've done

Technical considerations:

From a technical standpoint, and realizing that most people outside this industry don't care about security of information in transit, a good idea is often to ask to share the information through the same public email service. Ideally this service is a reputable one. Take a look at this previous answer regarding exchanges between gmail accounts:

Is gmail-to-gmail still insecure? Why?

Make sure to zip your sensitive data with an application that has a respectable implementation of crypto, such as SecureZip and send the password(a reasonably random one) to said zip file through a different channel, like the phone.

Non-technical considerations:

Perform the above mentioned validation before the fact.

Realty agencies exist for a good reason. Make sure to conduct business through an experienced and recommended realtor that has a reputation to protect. This will also come to the rescue, should issues or misunderstandings arise during the life of your lease, saving you a lot of time and money.

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  • Given the attitude of most rental agents I've worked with, asking them to unzip encrypted zip to get your rental application will likely just get your application to be totally ignored/put to the bottom of the list. – Lie Ryan Nov 19 '16 at 12:45

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