How To Spot a Fake Lease Agreement

If you are renting a property, you need to sign a lease agreement to avoid issues with the owner, it is a legally binding document that outlines the terms and conditions of the rental arrangement. The agreement helps resolve any issue that may arise between you and the owner of the property and also ensures that everyone keeps to the terms of the agreement.

How To Spot a Fake Lease Agreement
How To Spot a Fake Lease Agreement

Unfortunately, scammers have become increasingly sophisticated, creating fake lease agreements to deceive unsuspecting renters. And if you are not careful, you won’t notice these fake lease agreements – it has caused issues in the past and it will keep creating problems. Many renters have fallen victim and more will if nothing is done about it.

To protect yourself, we are here to share with you, tips on how to spot a fake lease agreement, these tips will help you stay away from scammers when renting a property.

How To Spot a Fake Lease Agreement

If you don’t want to be a victim of fake lease agreements, wear these tips like clothes whenever you are renting a property.

Verify the Landlord’s Identity

The first step you should take to ensure the authenticity of a lease agreement is to verify the identity of the landlord or property manager. Request official identification and contact information.

If the person is hesitant to provide this information or insists on communicating only through email or messaging apps, proceed with caution. The person is likely not real or is hiding something.

Cross-check Property Ownership

Legitimate lease agreements involve the rightful property owner. Cross-check the information provided in the lease agreement with public property records, which are often available online. If the details don’t align, it could be a sign of a fraudulent lease.

Check the Language and Grammar in the Agreement

Always look out for this, fake lease agreements mostly contain spelling errors, grammatical mistakes, or awkward phrasing – it is one thing you must always check.

Legitimate landlords and property managers take the time to ensure their documents are professionally drafted. If the lease appears poorly written or contains inconsistencies, it may be a red flag. Don’t move forward with the agreement.

Check the Lease Duration and Payment Terms

Scammers may attempt to create a sense of urgency by imposing unrealistic deadlines or offering exceptionally favorable terms. Before you continue any agreement, review the lease duration, payment schedule, and any associated fees carefully.

If the terms seem too good to be true or don’t align with typical rental agreements, exercise caution. Investigate, you will find out why.

Insist on Seeing Them Properly

A legitimate landlord or property manager will always allow prospective tenants to view the property before signing a lease agreement. Insist on seeing the property by yourself, if the individual refuses or provides excuses for not facilitating a physical viewing, it raises suspicions about the authenticity of the lease.

Ensure You Authenticate the Signatures on the Agreement

Before you proceed, ensure that all signatures on the lease agreement are genuine. If possible, request to sign the document in person. Verify the landlord’s signature against any provided identification, and be wary of agreements that lack signatures or include electronic signatures without proper authentication.

Check for Watermarks and Official Seals

Many official documents, including lease agreements, feature watermarks, official seals, or specific branding. Authentic lease agreements should have these elements, and their absence indicates a fraudulent document. Always request high-quality scans or physical copies of the lease for closer inspection.

Research Lease Templates

Compare the lease agreement with reputable and standard lease templates available online. Scammers always reuse generic templates, and discrepancies between the provided lease and industry-standard templates could reveal their fraudulent nature.

Consult Legal Assistance

If you have any doubts about the legitimacy of a lease agreement, seek legal advice. Consult with a real estate attorney or professional who can review the document and provide guidance on its authenticity.


As the demand for rental properties continues to rise, so does the prevalence of fake lease agreements. If you don’t want to fall victim, you need to be very careful.

Do not forget, that a legitimate landlord will prioritize transparency and provide the necessary information to build trust. If anything feels off or raises suspicion, take the time to investigate further before committing to a lease agreement.



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