Avoiding Lease Scams in Ohio: Red Flags to Watch Out For

Avoiding Lease Scams in Ohio: Red Flags to Watch Out For


Are you planning to lease a property in Ohio? Be cautious, as lease scams are all too common in the real estate market. Lease scams can not only drain your finances but also leave you without a place to live. In this blog post, we will discuss some red flags to watch out for when leasing in Ohio and how to protect yourself from falling victim to lease scams.

Red Flags to Watch Out For

1. Unusually Low Rental Prices

If you come across a rental property with prices that seem too good to be true, think twice before proceeding. Scammers often lure unsuspecting tenants with extremely low rental prices to attract attention and manipulate their victims.

2. Requests for Payment before Viewing

Legitimate landlords will never ask you to pay a security deposit or sign any lease agreements before you have viewed the property. If you encounter a landlord who insists on payment prior to a viewing, it is likely a scam. Always view the property in person before making any financial commitments.

3. Suspicious Payment Methods

Be cautious if the landlord insists on only accepting payments through unconventional methods such as wire transfers or prepaid debit cards. Reputable landlords usually prefer traditional payment methods such as checks or online transactions through secure platforms.

4. Lack of Written Agreements

A written lease agreement protects both the tenant and the landlord. If the landlord refuses or hesitates to provide a written agreement, it’s a major red flag. Insist on a written lease that clearly outlines all terms, conditions, and responsibilities of both parties.

5. Absence of Background Checks

A trustworthy landlord will conduct background checks to ensure the suitability of a potential tenant. If a landlord skips this crucial step or doesn’t ask for references or credit checks, it could indicate that they are not concerned about the quality of their tenants, possibly because they are scammers.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q1: What should I do if I suspect a lease scam?

If you suspect a lease scam, trust your instincts and discontinue all communication with the landlord. Report the incident to the local authorities, providing them with any evidence or documentation that you may have.

Q2: Can I protect myself from lease scams by using a real estate agent?

Yes, involving a licensed real estate agent can provide an additional layer of protection against lease scams. Agents have experience and expertise in dealing with legitimate landlords and can help you find a reputable rental property.

Q3: How can I verify the legitimacy of a landlord?

Take the time to research the landlord or management company online. Check out their website, read reviews and ratings, and look for any negative feedback or complaints. You can also ask for references from previous tenants to get a better understanding of their reputation.


Leasing a property should be a smooth and transparent process, but unfortunately, lease scams exist. By being aware of the red flags and taking proactive measures to protect yourself, you can avoid falling victim to lease scams in Ohio. Remember to stay vigilant, conduct thorough research, and trust your instincts.

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