280. Rent to Own Home Scams in Columbus Ohio- How to Avoid Scams

Protecting Yourself in Columbus From Scammers: There are scammers marketing rent to own homes here in Columbus AL. Learn how to avoid them...
Protecting Yourself in Columbus From Scammers: There are scammers marketing rent to own homes here in Columbus AL. Learn how to avoid them…

We buy houses on Columbus and pay cash for houses Ohio. Are you starting to look for rent to own houses in Columbus?

Rent to own homes (also called lease option or lease purchase) has become a popular way of getting into a house when your financial situation has thrown your house hunt for a curve.

Nonetheless, it’s essential to acknowledge that you might have come across stories about scams that have left many well-intentioned individuals out of thousands of dollars, rather than realizing their dream of homeownership. Some recent tenant deposit schemes, often perpetrated by unscrupulous individuals who exploit websites such as Craigslist (which is, in fact, a reputable platform for finding excellent rent-to-own opportunities), have garnered widespread media attention. This has understandably created anxiety among prospective rent-to-own tenant buyers, who are now left wondering if the property they are considering might also be part of a “scam.”.

Rent to Own Home Scams in Columbus OH – How to Avoid Scams That Are Out There

In recent years, there has been a noticeable surge in various scams that aim to exploit both prospective tenants and homeowners. These scams come in various forms, with some particularly concerning trends emerging.

One such deception involves unscrupulous individuals who exploit popular property buying and selling websites, often targeting foreigners. These scammers go to great lengths to create counterfeit websites that mimic the appearance of well-known platforms. They then post alluring property advertisements to lure unsuspecting victims. Once someone is enticed by these seemingly attractive offers, a chain of email communications ensues. Regrettably, the unsuspecting tenant or buyer is coerced into making a deposit, and the moment that deposit is sent to the scammer, it becomes an arduous task to trace the perpetrator or recover the misappropriated funds.

The biggest scam that is out there 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 in Columbus

Scammers have become increasingly sophisticated in their tactics to exploit your hard-earned money. One prevalent scam involves a deceptive ploy, where scammers target vacant properties owned by individuals residing out of the area.

Their modus operandi entails breaking into these vacant houses, capturing images, and subsequently uploading these pictures along with enticing “for rent” or “rent to own” listings on platforms like Craigslist. The listings are meticulously crafted to appear utterly legitimate, luring unsuspecting prospective renters.

Once you express interest and perhaps even meet the scammer face to face, they skillfully employ a sense of urgency, suggesting that other interested parties are vying for the same property. Fearing that you might lose out, you acquiesce and place a deposit on the spot.

What remains concealed is the scammer’s nefarious scheme, as they orchestrate the same ruse with numerous other potential renters throughout the day, each one making deposits. Subsequently, the scammer vanishes, absconding with the accumulated deposits, cashing checks, and leaving their victims in the lurch.

This scam can also manifest in a variant where you don’t even get to physically view the property, yet the scammer manipulates you into placing a deposit urgently by claiming an overwhelming level of interest from other prospective renters. Tragically, in such instances, your funds are irretrievably lost.

How To Avoid Rent to Own Scams – Some Quick Tips in Columbus, OH

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, Xero Home Buyers LLC, maintains a fully registered status with the state of AL, a credential that you can readily verify through online channels. Moreover, you can locate our company on numerous online business directories, where comprehensive contact information is provided for your convenience. These avenues provide a reliable means of confirming our legitimacy.

If, on the other hand, you find yourself in a transaction with an individual, rather than a registered company, exercising caution is paramount. In such cases, it’s entirely appropriate to take certain precautionary measures. If you have any reservations about the individual you’re dealing with, consider requesting to inspect their driver’s license as a means of verifying their identity and address. Additionally, it’s advisable to document the license plate number of their vehicle before concluding any interactions, ensuring a higher level of safety and security for all parties involved.


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, the onus is on you to exercise diligence and caution to shield yourself from potential scams. As the saying goes, “if a deal appears too good to be true, take a step back and reconsider.” It’s crucial not to hastily rush into sealing deals without subjecting them to careful scrutiny and contemplation. By heeding the insights and tips provided, you’ll be better equipped to navigate the world of rent-to-own homes in Columbus, arming yourself with a newfound sense of confidence as you embark on the quest for your next dream house.

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

We at Xero Home Buyers LLC are one of the Columbus AL 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 205-259-7529 or email us on our Contact Page.

Plus, see the Columbus 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.

See Available Local Columbus Rent To Own Houses Here >>

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