Rent to Own Home Scams in Santa Barbara – How to Avoid Scams

rent to own home scams in Santa Barbara
Protecting Yourself in Santa Barbara From Scammers: There are scammers marketing rent to own homes here in Santa Barbara . Learn how to avoid them…
Are you starting to look for rent to own houses in Santa Barbara?

Rent-to-own homes, also known as lease options or lease purchases, have gained popularity as an alternative path to homeownership, especially when financial circumstances have complicated the traditional house-hunting process.

However, you might be aware of the scams circulating that have left numerous honest individuals out of thousands of dollars instead of realizing their dream of owning a home. Recent instances of schemes involving tenant deposits, particularly perpetrated by individuals utilizing platforms like Craigslist (which is typically a reliable source for finding excellent rent-to-own properties), have garnered media attention, causing apprehension among prospective rent-to-own buyers about the legitimacy of the properties they’re considering.

Rent to Own Home Scams in Santa Barbara – How to Avoid Scams That Are Out There

Rent-to-own home scams in Santa Barbara – How to steer clear of fraudulent activities and safeguard your investment

In recent times, there has been a notable surge in scams targeting either prospective tenants or homeowners, presenting various forms of deceitful practices.

Among these deceptive tactics are those employed by scammers who exploit well-known property trading platforms to target potential tenants, particularly those from foreign backgrounds.

These unscrupulous individuals often create fake replicas of popular websites and post alluring advertisements. Once individuals are ensnared, a chain of email exchanges follows, leading to the tenant making a deposit. Sadly, once the funds are transferred to the scammer, it becomes exceedingly challenging to trace their identity or recover the money.

The most prevalent scam confronting potential renters or those exploring rent-to-own options is outlined below.

Taking Deposits On A House They Don’t Own… Then Disappearing Into The Night

Scammers are becoming increasingly sophisticated in their methods to deceive and exploit unsuspecting individuals.

One prevalent scam today involves scammers identifying vacant properties where the homeowner resides out of the area. They unlawfully enter the property, take photos, and then create “for rent” or “rent-to-own” listings on platforms like Craigslist.

These listings appear authentic, prompting potential renters to visit the property. In some cases, they may even meet the scammer in person, who claims there is high demand for the property and urges them to secure it with a deposit immediately.

Unbeknownst to the renter, the scammer orchestrates multiple visits from different individuals on the same day, convincing each to submit a deposit. Subsequently, the scammer collects these deposits, cashes the checks, and disappears without a trace.

A variation of this scam occurs when the scammer convinces renters to submit a deposit without even seeing the property in person, citing high demand and urging immediate action. As a result, unsuspecting victims lose their hard-earned money with no recourse.

It’s imperative to remain vigilant and exercise caution when dealing with rental transactions, especially when prompted to make hasty decisions or submit payments without proper verification.

How To Avoid Rent to Own Scams – Some Quick Tips

How to Avoid Rent-to-Own Scams – Quick Tips for Protection

Alright, so you’re aware of the presence of scammers in the market.

Now, how can you steer clear of falling victim to a scam and ensure your safety throughout the process?

Firstly, it’s crucial to verify the legitimacy of the person or company you’re dealing with.

Our company, Central Coast Home Buyers, is officially registered with the state of , and you can easily confirm this online. Additionally, you’ll find our company listed on various reputable online business directories, providing all our contact details. If you’re engaging with an individual rather than a company, if anything seems suspicious when interacting with the “owner,” don’t hesitate to request to see their driver’s license as proof of identity and address. It’s also wise to jot down the license plate number of their vehicle before concluding your interaction.


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…

  • During property visits, always inquire about the identity of the agent involved.
    Steer clear of purchasing from agents who lack established credibility; opt for those with a proven track record.
  • Conduct thorough research on landlords’ websites to validate their authenticity.
  • Refrain from making upfront payments until you have confirmed the legitimacy of the agents or landlords.
  • Exercise caution with prospective clients whose emails exhibit broken English; consider conducting a Google search to check if they have been flagged as potential scammers.
  • Seek guidance from experts or individuals with experience in the property market.
  • When it comes to making payments, involve a lawyer to ensure security and legality.

In conclusion, the responsibility lies with you to exercise diligence and caution to evade falling victim to scams. Remember, if a deal seems too good to be true, it likely is. Take your time and thoroughly assess all aspects before finalizing any agreements. With these precautions in mind, you can navigate the rent-to-own home market in Santa Barbara with confidence and reduce the risk of encountering fraudulent schemes. Stay vigilant, and may these tips empower you with the assurance needed as you embark on your search for your next home!

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

We at Central Coast Home Buyers are one of the Santa Barbara 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 (805)505-7373 or email us on our Contact Page.

Plus, see the Santa Barbara 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 Santa Barbara Rent To Own Houses Here >>

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