Are you starting to look for rent to own houses in Edmonton?
Rent to own homes (also called a lease option or a lease purchase) have become a popular way of purchasing a home. People often end up in this situation when their financial situation has been bruised, typically due to life events. The result is their house hunting goals are thrown a major curveball.
You may have heard media reports of some of the scams out there that have left many honest people, already struggling, out thousands of dollars instead of in a home of their dreams. Sadly, some disastrous situations do arise from tenant deposit-taking schemes or an inflated purchase price. But these scenarios result from unprincipled people seeking to profit off those already struggling.
In our experience, these situations are RARE. But the media likes to sell FEAR and we all know negative stories spread faster. Any story that can sound the panic alarm will make it into the news. This results in many would be rent to own tenant buyers becoming nervous about whether or not the house they’re looking at is also a “scam”.
We know several companies here in Edmonton that operate with integrity and have their client’s best intentions in mind. And truthfully, some of the reasons people feel ‘scammed’ is because they were not explained the contract and its terms properly, they did not fully understand those terms, or the deal was not constructed/monitored properly from the start.
Rent to Own Home Scams in Edmonton – How to Avoid Scams That Are Out There
TRUST YOUR GUT! If something does not feel right about the deal or the person you are dealing with, it’s probably best to move on. There will be other opportunities.
There has been an increase in scams designed to fleece either potential tenants or homeowners, which is truly sad given all the struggles people are facing today already. Several types of scams exist that have come out in recent years.
There are those scammers who take advantage of popular property buying and selling websites like Kijiji or Craigslist to defraud potential tenants, especially foreigners.
They create counterfeit websites of the popular sites and put up enticing advertisements. Once a person falls for them, a series of email communication flows and the tenant makes a deposit. And that is it. Game over. Once that deposit money is transferred to this unscrupulous individual.. it’s nearly impossible to track down who did it or how to get the deposit funds back. It’s tragic!
Typically, the biggest scam 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
Perhaps you have thought about this, but some people have a pursued a ‘career’ on the wrong side of the law. Some fraudsters are getting very crafty about how they intend to separate you from your hard earned money.
One method used today, is where a scammer finds a vacant property and the owner of the house lives out of the area. These fraudsters, who may even break into the house, take pictures, then they upload those pictures and a “for rent” or “rent to own” listing on websites where people looking for rent to own properties visit.
The listing looks legitimate… so potential buyers go and look at it and maybe even meet this individual face to face. They tell you there are other people looking to rent the house as well so you better put a deposit on it today (BIG MISTAKE!)… so you do.
What you aren’t aware of is that this trickster had a whole slew of other potential rent to own buyers visit the same Edmonton property that day and put a deposit on the home as well!
The scammer then takes your e-transfer… or cashes your deposit cheque.. and vanishes!
Another version of this scam happens when you don’t even see the prospective home and the scammer tells you that you may want to put a deposit on the house ASAP because there are others interested. So you do what he says, even before you see the home in person, and your money is gone forever. It’s shocking to think people fall prey to schemes like this but it does happen. I hope you recognize a few of the key elements present in these scams: urgency, pressure, a limited time frame, and no contract.
Pushy sales tactics are a definite RED FLAG. Phrases like, “This deal won’t last long”, “All I need is a cash deposit” or “Several other people are interested in this deal” should make you leery of doing business with anyone.
How To Avoid Rent to Own Scams – Some Quick Tips
So now you’re aware that there are scammers out there. As we said, the vast majority of companies are legitimate and will do a wonderful job for you, but its important to do your due diligence. (Avoid any scams, but also find a company who can ensure the process is smooth every step of the way.)
So now the question is, 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 or company you’re dealing with is legitimate.
Our company, Sunrise Home Buyers, is one of the legitimate cones. How can you tell? Well, we…….
- have a track record of satisfied clients
- have a wide and visible presence, including a verifiable phone number, email, address, website and they have a large digital footprint.
- have a listing with the Better Business Bureau
- use reputable lawyers and have solid contracts
- we don’t use high pressure sales tactics, saying things like, “it’s a limited time offer”, “cash payment up front”, or “act now or miss out on this deal”
If you feel anything is off at all… don’t be afraid to ask for the home sellers’ identification or view their drivers license for proof of their name and address and to verify they are who they say they are. Better to be safe than sorry!
Useful Tips For Your Edmonton Rent To Own Home Search
So, in summary, here are some steps for you to take when dealing with a potential Edmonton rent to own company…
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 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 uneasy doing so. TRUST YOUR GUT!
Tip #4: Search for the address of the property online and verify 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 their right 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 and several other rent to own companies in Edmonton that can meet your needs.
Edmonton Rent To Own Home Buying Action Plan
If you do meet an Edmonton seller:
- When visiting the property, ask the Identity of the agent.
- Avoid buying agents that are not yet established. Go for established ones.
- Do your due diligence on a landlord’s website to be sure the website and the landlord are genuine. Verify their phone number, address and the company’s track record.
- Avoid making upfront payments until you are certain the agent or landlord is genuine.
- Treat any prospective clients whose communication is poorly written with suspicion. A legitimate business will make sure they are communicating in a professional manner. You may search them up in google to find out whether they have been identified as A scammer or not.
- Seek the advice of any experts or experienced investors in the Edmonton property market.
- When making payments, ensure there is a lawyer involved.
In conclusion, IT IS UP TO YOU TO INVESTIAGTE and avoid being scammed. If the deal is too sweet, think twice. Don’t rush into agreeing to any deals before giving them some time-seasoning and a second thought….or three! We sincerely hope these tips will help you avoid any rent to own home scams in Edmonton and fill you with a new sense of confidence when you’re searching for your next Edmonton home!
If you’d like to learn more about Edmonton Rent To Own Houses, procedures and pitfalls, please check out our other article, Are Edmonton Rent-to-Own Homes a Scam?
Looking For A Home To Rent To Own In Edmonton? See How To Access Our Available Properties Below!
We at Sunrise Home Buyers are one of the Edmonton, Alberta area’s qualified 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 (587) 982-7576 or email us on our Contact Page.
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We know a thing or two about buying RENT TO OWN homes in Edmonton, Alberta. Click the link if you’d like to learn even more about avoiding any RENT TO OWN scams or purchasing an Edmonton RTO property.