Is rent to own the “real deal”? (part 1)


I recently received an email from an inquirer wondering how rent-to-own works. She’d been warned that people had been scammed.


I’m always grateful for queries like that because it allows me to explain that rent-to-own is a legitimate way for people who can afford a mortgage but can’t yet qualify at the banks, to get into a home now, while fixing the issues that are keeping them from getting a mortgage.


There are many legitimate, ethical, professional rent-to-own operators. These operators genuinely care for their clients’ well-being, qualify them only if there is a high probability of success, and coach them toward that success.


 That said, there are, as in every industry, those who try to take advantage of people. You’ve probably heard stories of police officers, doctors, lawyers, realtors—you name it—who have taken advantage of people, or “scammed” them. There are rent-to-own operators out there who have done that, too. And when they get discovered, the stories hit the news, big time. It hurts all of us legitimate operators.


That’s why it’s important to do your due diligence. Legitimate R2O operators have a motive to help people, operate according to a set of ethical principles, follow the regulations, and encourage potential clients to “check them out,” because they are not afraid of what the research will uncover. Yes, they are entrepreneurs; they make money at what they do—we all need to earn a living—but they do so within the framework of professional, ethical  operations.


 We always encourage inquirers to check us out. Visit our web site. We are also members of a professional association whose members commit to a code of conduct and transparency. We encourage you to visit our professional association’s web site, as well (

 So, if someone cautions you about rent-to-own, and has a negative story to share, and especially if they use the word “scam,” tell them you’re doing the appropriate research, and know how to avoid the unethical one(s). And refer them to the two web sites, so that they, too, can get a more balanced view.