Investors who don’t live near their rental properties rely heavily on the skill and honesty of their agents. Some are known to be not as scrupulous as would be hoped.
A known trick is for an agent to rent out a property, usually short term, but not pass any of the income on to the owner. How would the owner ever know?
Another scam that is put to good use, especially in boom and bust locations during a bust cycle, is to pull most of the properties-for-rent ads off their website, thereby instilling a belief in unsuspecting out of town buyers that there is a shortage of supply in the area. This allows the agents and their developer mates to build and sell more properties.