Rent to Own Home Scams in Atlanta – How to Avoid Scams

rent to own home scams in Atlanta Georgia
Protecting Yourself in Atlanta From Scammers: There are scammers marketing rent to own homes here in Atlanta Georgia. Learn how to avoid them…

Are you starting to look at Rent To Own Houses in Atlanta 

Fresh Start Home Sales 6 Tips To Avoid Rent To Own Scams 678-337-1165

a home similar to the homes in Snellville GeorgiaRent to own homes is a great way to find a home you will want to own. Rent to own homes (also called lease option or lease purchase) is a smart way of starting your homeownership journey to your dream home. Rent to own homes is especially helpful when your personal or family financial situation took a hit. Now, you are back on track and want to move into your dream home while becoming mortgage eligible.

Like in many industries, unfortunately, some people will want to take advantage of soon to be homeowners. Occasionally you may have heard of some of the scammers who have cheated lots of honest, hardworking families out of significant dollars instead of getting them into their dream homes

They do it with fake home deposit schemes. The scammers will peruse many online platforms where tenants are looking for homes to rent, and homeowners are looking for tenants. These sites offer “for rent by owner” where they are no real estate professional in the middle of the transaction to protect you. These scammers have made it into the news and have many would-be rent to own tenant buyers apprehensive, concerned if the home they are interested in could be a front for a scammer.

Rent to Own Home Scams in Atlanta – And How to Avoid Them

Scammers are always looking for people who have let their guard down. They target home buyers and home sellers too.  

The scammers will peruse popular home buying and selling online portals looking for out of town landlords, new to the area home buyers, and foreigners. 

One scam is they will create a counterfeit website of one of the popular portals and advertise properties that are just too good to be true. Once a person starts corresponding with the website, the conversation then turns to the tenant-buyer sending a deposit to that site, and unfortunately, that will be the last you hear from them and your money. These fake sites are nearly impossible to track down who is behind it and even more challenging to get your money back. 

Taking Deposits On A House, They Don’t Own… Then Disappearing Forever

Scammers will go to great lengths to separate you from your hard-earned savings. 

They will find a recently vacant home, especially if the homeowner is out of the local area. They will break into a back window or door, take great pictures of the homes as if they own it, or are authorized to rent that home out. The photos of the houses are uploaded to online portals and listed as a rent to own opportunity. 

The pictures seem authentic, and the deposit and monthly rent are very affordable compared to other rentals in the area. The tenant-buyer rushes over to see the home and is encouraged to give a deposit today because many people are interested, and you don’t want to miss this opportunity. Unfortunately, the reason the price is so low is that the Scammer is only interested in your money. Several other would-be tenant-buyers will visit the home over the next few days who will also put down a deposit to secure the home.

Well, you guessed it. The Scammer takes the money and never to be heard from again. Even the real homeowner is not aware of the situation.

Some Scammers will tell you that they don’t have the pictures ready yet because the home is being improved with new paint and carpets, but as soon as the workers are finished, the home will be on the market going to the highest bidder. The Scammer is counting on your fear of missing out so that you will send them the deposit requested even before seeing the house. The terms of the deal will be so good, especially compared to the other rentals in the area.  

You send the deposit even before you see the property or meet the person you spoke with in-person, and now your money is long gone, no home, no deposit, and you cannot even give the police a description of the person who has your money. 

How To Avoid Rent to Own Scams – Some Quick Tips

Ok, so you know there are scammers out there.

Now… how do you avoid being a victim to a scam and how do you protect yourself during the process?

First off… verify that the person / company you’re dealing with is legitimate.

Our company, Fresh Start Home Sales, is registered with the state of Georgia which you can verify online... and you can find our company listed on many online business directories where it’ll show all of our contact information.  If you’re working with an individual (a person,  not a company)… when you see the “owner”… if you feel anything is off at all… don’t be afraid to ask to see their drivers license for proof of their name and address… and write down their license plate number of their car before you leave.

So…

Tip #1: Verify the identity and contact info of the person or company marketing the property so you know they’re honest and legitimate

Tip #2: Never give a cash deposit… and never hand a deposit check over without a contract in hand to a person you’ve verified is legitimate. 

Tip #3: Don’t ever feel pressured to put a deposit down “today!” if you feel uncomfortable doing so. Trust your gut. 

Tip #4: Search the address of the property online and see if you can find the name of the owner on record. If that doesn’t match up with the person you’re working with… ask that person for proof of their identity and ability to rent the house to you. 

Tip #5: As a last resort, if you ever don’t feel right about it… just leave. There will always be more houses that will come around. 

A quick rundown for you

  • When visiting the property, ask the Identity of the agent.
  • Avoid buying agents that are not yet established. Go for established ones.
  • Carry out due diligence on landlords websites to be sure the websites and the landlords are genuine.
  • Avoid making upfront payments until you are certain the agents or landlords are genuine.
  • Treat prospective clients whose emails are written in broken English with suspicion. You may search them in google to find out whether they have been listed as scammers or not.
  • Seek the advice of experts or the experienced in the property market.
  • When making payments, ensure you have a lawyer involved.

In conclusion, it is up to you to be diligent enough to avoid being scammed. They say when the deal is too sweet, think twice. Don’t rush into sealing deals before giving them a second thought.  Hopefully these tips will help you avoid rent to own home scams in Atlanta and arm you with a new sense of confidence when you’re out there looking for your next house!

Looking For A Reputable Rent To Own House In Atlanta? See Our Available Properties Below!

We at Fresh Start Home Sales are one of the Atlanta Georgia area’s leading rent to own house experts.

If you have any questions about the rent to own process or just want to see if renting to own a house is right for you… don’t hesitate to reach out to us by giving us a call at 678-337-1165 or email us on our Contact Page.

Plus, see the Atlanta rent to own houses we have available and get on our Early Alert Email List to see new rent to own houses as they become available.

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