Hi guys, hope someone can give me some insight. I’m currently looking for an apartment with my roommate. Unfortunately, with my school’s housing crisis, lately there has been an unprecedented amount of scams surfacing trying to gyp people of their money. My current situation is this: we have a potential unit to rent that we found on Craigslist. I called the lady at first asking if we could have a co-signer, but she told me she had to talk it over with her husband. She seemed like a kind lady that was understanding of our situation. Next day she texted me saying it was okay, and to send over our emails for the application. We got the application for it and at the bottom it says we must pay $150 cash and that if we are accepted it gets applied to first month’s rent. If we don’t get it, it gets refunded (one thing to note is that it is not a property management, but rather just a couple). That makes me suspicious since it’s such a large amount of money for 2 applicants, and because it’s cash. I ended up texting her and asking her why it was so high, and she said it was to have only serious applicants apply. I also asked if venmo, zelle, etc were acceptable and she said it was. Tomorrow we tour the unit, and obviously held off on paying and turning in the apps (especially bc it has our SSNs). So if we see the unit and everything looks good, how high is it that we’re buying into a scam? Please let me know your opinions, and maybe how to further verify authenticity. Thanks so much.
TLDR: Application fee for rental unit is $150 cash for 2 apps, how likely is it that it’s a scam even if we tour it?