There has recently been an increase in the number of leasing scams identified in and around Ann Arbor, as well as around the country. Scammers pretending to be property owners will offer to lease a unit that they do not own, a unit that has already been leased, or even a unit that does not exist. Please be careful before signing any lease, sublease, or sending any rent payments, deposits, or other fees in relation to a lease.
If you are unsure about the validity of a proposed lease, please contact Student Legal Services before signing the lease or sending any funds. Student Legal Services has significant expertise in the area of housing law, and attorneys are available to review your lease before you sign it, or discuss any questions and concerns that you may have in relation to a property or housing provider.
Additionally, if you plan to sublease your current rental unit, please be wary of prospective subtenants reaching out with an interest in renting a space sight-unseen. Some subleasing scams involve prospective subtenants sending a check for more than the rental amount and requesting that the overpayment be returned to them by wire transfer. In these situations the initial check will be rejected after the transfer is sent.
If you have been scammed or to report suspicious activity, please visit the Federal Trade Commission's website to file a complaint.
We would also encourage you to view our Take Time Before You Sign videos. These take you through the various steps of the housing search and leasing process, and were jointly developed by Beyond The Diag and Student Legal Services. The videos are a great resource, and include a number of hints, tips and suggestions on how to navigate the search for off-campus housing.