Hunting for rental housing in any city can be exhausting. Going to view small one-bedroom apartments ‘accidentally’ listed as 2 bedrooms or a tiny, dark house described as ‘huge’ and ‘bright’ is frustrating. Even worse is paying a deposit on property that does not exist. Here are some tips to help you identify a possible scam when looking for rental property:
Be aware of offers that seem too good to be true
It’s a good idea to do a reasonableness check on rental rates for similar properties in the same area. If the rent seems too low, do more research.
Be cautious of giving your personal information
You may get asked for your social insurance number, bank account, or credit card numbers. However, keep in mind that this type of information is not required to rent a place.
Get recommendations from people you know
This way you are more likely to deal with reputable agencies or landlords.
Don’t give up your cash too quickly
If they are asking for a cash security deposit, be cautious. Cash is untraceable and can be used immediately. Also be very cautious when being asked to “wire” money or send money to a third party as this is often a sign of a scam.
Be careful when looking online
There have been reported cases where a renter found the same pictures of an apartment for rent but at a different address. Or sometimes, the property doesn’t exist at all.
Find out the terms of your lease
Always read the fine print on your rental contract and find out if there is a penalty for early termination of your lease.
If you think you have been scammed, we encourage you to call your local police department. By reporting a fraud, you provide law enforcement with the information they need to stop fraudsters and help prevent others from becoming victims. You can also report to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre which is the central agency in Canada that collects information and criminal intelligence.
We hope this information was helpful!