I am the top choice for a shared apartment. I really like the location and the place - and, based on a phone conversation, I liked the person who owns it.

If the person were a woman, I would not be so worried - but it is a guy. It’s not really an option for me to go there to meet him and see the place. I could do video chat - and I might well do that. I could see if anyone I know in the city could visit the place, but I feel hesitant to ask people to do that. Are there any other ways to safely rent a place from a distance? I’ve scoured his social media already.

Also, are there safe/safer ways to pay the deposit to secure the place?