The summer travel planning season has begun and may be the busiest season of vacation rentals in a few years. George Genel, CEO of Rental Screening Service MySmartRenter.comExpect a record number of rental scams by those seeking to take advantage of the surge in demand for post-pandemic travel. He says Americans are too confident when it comes to renting a house or apartment. This is our interview.

What do people know about borrowing what they have to do?

rather. As demand increases, so does rental fraud.

Scammers are smart and know that borrowers feel they need to trigger immediately for fear of missing out and are playing with that feeling.

Bad rent decisions can ruin your vacation, cost you a lot of money and get you stuck in a strange place.

Other Travel CEO Q & A

Priority Pass CEO: The reasons why post-pandemic travelers are “not well-planned” are:

FocusPoint CEO: As the Ukrainian invasion continues, travelers are in “waiting” mode for the following reasons:

Travel is safe after the invasion of Ukraine, but Arch Insurance EVP says this is necessary

The COO of the Qatar Tourism Authority, a “world-class” attraction that precedes the World Cup, says

World Nomad CEO: As Covid-19 infections diminish, it’s time for a “responsible” trip

How can I avoid the negative experience of being a lessor?

Surveying vacation rentals takes time. You have to read the reviews. Read the negative reviews as they will tell you more. Most people list their properties on multiple sites, so read the reviews on other listing sites.

Search Google for the property or perform an image search to verify that the property exists. You don’t want to know that you actually rented a vacant decomposition product or vacant lot. It happens. Use Street View to look around the area for your safety and security.

I always thought one side was unfair. Vacation rentals do all the security checks, but you don’t know who you are renting from. You are trying to scale in your favor.

It is assumed that the real estate owner bears all risks as the tenant can cause rent defaults and property damage. Therefore, we are focusing on tenant screening.

This couldn’t be far from the truth. It is the tenants who take more risk.


please think about it. To prevent identity theft, you are always warned not to disclose your personal information. Still, when it comes to renting, it all goes out of the window.

It looks like this: The lessor will meet with the landlord or realtor for about 30 minutes to view the rental property or do it all online. The lessor may disclose all personal information such as social security number, bank account, driver’s license, date of birth, employment, income, etc. in the application form and pay a deposit to a stranger.

Vacation rentals disclose information to the listing service. That’s the main reason everyone knows if they have a rental horror story.

Why do tenants need to screen landlords?

Same reason for landlords to screen tenants: to prevent rental fraud and malicious landlords. They want to know that the owner is really the owner, not a scam. They want to know that the landlord has the key, so the landlord does not have any legal issues that could affect their safety and security. Want to know who you can borrow from before disclosing your personal information? When it comes to safety, prevention is the best protection.

So what does know that a simple internet search can’t find?

With, detailed, easy-to-read reports give you instant, confidential, and personalized background on property owners.

Want to know who to borrow from to avoid rental scams, a criminal record landlord, or a sex offender? Or is there anyone whose property has been seized, or who has bankruptcy, lien, or judgment?

The lessor really deserves to know the background of who to rent from the beginning for the safety of the family. The tenant is injured.

Who is currently using this site?

The person to rent. Either vacation rental or long term. There are off-campus students and parents, home advocates helping to secure safe housing for victims of abuse, and the elderly. The school provides us to students off campus. Realtors use us as a safety precaution to screen out new clients before meeting them.

What kind of scam could you prevent?

One client was using SmartRenter when her granddaughter was moving to San Francisco. As soon as I started using SmartRenter, I was able to find the scam. In the end, she realized that her granddaughter was a great place.

Another client whose husband moved to Los Angeles used to identify a suspicious landlord. In one case, someone was trying to rent someone’s house.

How does it work with vacation rentals like Vrbo and Airbnb?

It works the same as for long-term rentals. All you need is an address.

However, not all vacation rentals give you an address. Is there a workaround?

There is. But it’s a huge red flag. I’m very skeptical if the address isn’t provided. My first idea is what they are hiding. Most people are proud of their rental and want to show it off. Why does someone rent a place where they don’t know where it is? It’s a disaster recipe. The best workaround is to google the name and city of the person providing the address and use to run the report for safety.

What if we could give summer travelers one piece of advice other than using the service?

Exclude your emotions from choosing a rental and try using logic and common sense. If it sounds too good to be true, it is. Read the review history, they are subjective and some can be fake. Check out the neighborhood.