Are you looking for rent to own houses in San Antonio?
Rent to own homes (also called lease option or lease purchase) has become a popular way of getting into a house if your financial situation has thrown you a curve.
But, you may have come across some of the scams out there that have left a lot of honest people out thousands of dollars instead of in the home of their dreams. Some recent tenant deposit stealing schemes, mainly from predators using websites like Craigslist (which is a very legitimate website to find great rent to own houses on) have made it into the media and has many would be rent to own tenant buyers nervous about whether or not the house they’re looking at is also a “scam”.
Rent to Own Home Scams in San Antonio – How to Avoid Scams That Are Out There
There has been an increase in scams that are out to rip off either potential tenants or homeowners. Several different forms of scams exist now that have come out in recent years.
There are those scammers who take advantage of popular property buying and selling websites to scam potential tenants, especially foreigners.
They create fake websites of the popular sites and put up enticing advertisements. Once a person falls for them, a series of email communication takes place and the tenant makes a deposit, and that’s it – once that deposit money is sent to the scammer… it’s nearly impossible to track them down or get the money back.
However, the biggest scam that’s out there right now for potential renters or rent to own buyers is described below.
Taking Deposits On A House They Don’t Own… Then Disappearing Into The Night
Some scammers are getting really smart about how they intend to separate you from your hard earned money.
The biggest one today is where a scammer finds vacant properties where the owner of the property lives out of the area…
… they then break into the house, take some pictures and then upload those pictures on a “for rent” or “rent to own” listing on websites like Craigslist.
The listing looks legitimate… so you go and look at it… maybe even meet the scammer face to face… they’ll tell you there are other people looking to rent the house, too so you better put a deposit down on it today… so you do.
What you don’t know is that the scammer had a whole bunch of other potential renters visit the same house that day and they put a deposit on the house, as well.
The scammer then takes the deposits… cashes the checks… and disappears with all the money.
Another version of this scam can also happen where you don’t even see the house first and the scammer tells you that you may want to put a deposit down on the house asap because there are others who are also interested. So you do, even before you see the property in person, and your money is lost forever.
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 of a scam and how do you protect yourself from one during the process?
First of all… verify that the person / company you’re dealing with is legit.
Our company, Lone Star Real Estate Solutions, LLC, is registered with the state of Texas which you can verify online… you can also find our company listed on many online business directories, as well, where it’ll show all of our contact information. If you’re working with an individual (a person, not a company)… when you meet the “owner”… if you feel that something’s not right… don’t be afraid to ask to see their drivers license for proof of their name and address… and be sure to write down their license plate number of their car before you leave.
Tip #1: Verify the identity and contact information of the person or company marketing the property so you know they’re honest and legitimate.
Tip #2: Never give a cash deposit… and / or never hand over a deposit check without a contract in hand to a person that you’ve verified is legitimate.
Tip #3: Don’t ever allow yourself to feel pressured to put a deposit down “today!” if you feel uncomfortable in doing so. Trust your gut.
Tip #4: Search the address of the property online to see if you can find the name of the owner on record. If that doesn’t match the name of 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 feel something’s not right about it… just leave. There will always other houses that will come around.
A quick rundown for you…
- When visiting the property, ask for the identity information of the agent.
- Avoid buying agents that are not yet established. Go for the established ones.
- Do your due diligence on landlord’s websites to be sure both the websites and the landlords are legitimate.
- Do not make any payments up front until you are certain the agents or landlords are legitimate.
- Treat prospective agents or landlords whose emails are written in broken English with suspicion. You should search for them online to find out whether they have been listed as scammers or not.
- Seek the advice of experts or those with experience in the property market.
- When making payments, be sure to have a lawyer involved.
In conclusion, it is up to you to be diligent enough to avoid being scammed. They say when the deal sounds too good, think again. Never rush into sealing a deal before giving it a second thought. Hopefully these tips will help you avoid rent to own home scams in San Antonio and provide you with a new sense of confidence when you’re out there looking for a home of your own!
Looking For A Reputable Rent To Own House In San Antonio? See Our Available Properties Below!
We at Lone Star Real Estate Solutions, LLC are one of the San Antonio Texas area’s leading rent to own house experts.
If you have any questions about the rent to own process or just want to check out if renting to own a house is right for you… don’t hesitate to reach out to us by giving us a call at (210) 791-9242 or emailing us on our Contact Page.
Plus, if you want to see if we currently have any rent to own houses available and / or get on our Rent To Own Houses list to see when new rent to own houses become available, then…