Finding an apartment to rent in Palma is a total nightmare and tenants not only have to shell out a sizeable chunk of cash as a deposit, they also have to pay extortionate monthly rents for a decent place.
As if that wasn’t enough to deal with, an alert has just been issued about a property scam after an advert appeared on a website for an apartment at an address that didn’t exist.
The alarm was sounded by a tenant who tried to rent a property in the Son Espanyolet district of the city.
She answered an online advert for a ‘newly renovated, 2nd floor, furnished studio, with lift, kitchen, living room, bathroom, terrace and cellar for 400 euros a month.
She immediately got in touch with the alleged landlord and made arrangements to visit the apartment the following Thursday.
“The lady who contacted me gave me a WhatsApp number and told me that she lived in France and that her husband would be the one showing me the apartment,” she recalls.
Excited about moving to a new place, she decided to visit the location of the apartment and check out the area.
"I went to the street and found the number where the apartment was supposed to be, but there was nothing there,” she says.
A few hours later, the owner sent a WhatsApp asking for a deposit to reserve the home.
Scammers are allegedly copying the images and descriptions of properties from legitimate estate agent websites, then re-publishing them at bargain prices and persuading prospective tenants to pay large deposits for apartments at addresses that don’t exist.