rental scams in Korea

Guide to Avoiding Rental Scams in Korea: Checklist for Lease Contracts 2024

Guide to Avoiding Rental Scams in Korea: Checklist for Lease Contracts by Pureum Law Office

Recently, there has been a rise in rental scams in Korea.

Rental scams occur when a landlord enters into a lease agreement without the intention or ability to return the deposit (fraudulent intent).

This not only includes situations where the landlord doesn’t return the deposit, but also cases where, despite the landlord’s lack of fraudulent intent, they become financially unable to return the deposit due to decreased property value or other reasons after the lease agreement.

Foreign residents in Korea, due to language barriers and lack of knowledge about Korean laws, are particularly vulnerable to these scams. We have encountered many foreigners who have lost their hard-earned money to rental scams.

Today, we will share what foreigners need to check to avoid falling victim to these scams.

Before Signing the Lease

□ Check surrounding sale and rental prices

□ Use the standard lease contract (Both Korean and English versions are available. Always use a contract with both Korean and English terms, or have separate Korean and English contracts. If not possible, bring a Korean-speaking acquaintance to ensure you understand the Korean contract before signing)

□ Check for any pre-existing debts like mortgage or leasehold rights (You should get a real estate registry extract to check. Real estate agents can provide this)

□ Check the landlord’s tax delinquency (If the landlord has unpaid taxes leading to provisional seizures, it will be recorded in the real estate registry)

□ Confirm the amount of prior deposits(선순위 보증금) (This should be asked in Korean a real estate agent)

□ Check the status of date-confirmation(선순위 확정일자) (Ask your real estate agent in Korean)

□ Review the household register(전입세대 열람) (To check if there are other tenants registered apart from you)

After Signing the Lease

□ Report the lease (Visit the local community center near your rental property to file the report)

□ Register your move-in (Visit the nearest community center or immigration office)

□ Sign up for a lease deposit return insurance (Visit a nearby bank to check if you meet the requirements and consider signing up for it)

If you have any further questions about rental scams, please contact our office.

We hope you follow these steps before and after signing your lease to avoid becoming a victim of rental scams.

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