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Rental Scams

Are you looking for the next place that you can call home?

Unfortunately, some people may take advantage of your situation and try to scam you out of money or personal information. Here are some tips and questions to ask yourself when you're looking for your next home.

  1. Check the going rates for similar types of apartments in the area. If the price they have quoted is below the average going rate, question it - and remember, "If it's too good to be true, it probably is."
  2. Be cautious when individuals state they are acting on behalf of an absentee landlord and then they request first and last month's rent, as well as a damage deposit. The owner of the property needs to be available in case issues arise so verify the landlords identity. If it is a management company verify the company with the BBB. A true landlord will meet in person and will have access to the property at all times. A scammer will meet with you however will make excuses for not having access to the home.
  3. A true landlord will be professional and will treat the prospective renter as a business client. They will not try to ‘con’ someone into renting by using emotional ques or tragic personal stories.
  4. Ensure the rental ad has not been altered. Conduct online searches for the property in question. Look for other advertisements with different contact names and numbers. This could be a sign of a scam. Also, make sure the address is real to begin with. A lot of scammers will make up property addresses altogether.
  5. Do not wire or send money for a damage deposit or a rental agreement. Pay by personal cheque not cash or a money order, these methods are used to remove the traceability of the payment.
  6. Never provide personal information.

Questions to yourself:

  1. Does the price seem low for the neighbourhood? If yes, it might be a scam.
  2. Have you checked Google Street View and do the pictures in the ads match? If no, it might be a scam.
  3. Is a free email account being used by the landlord (e.g., gmail, yahoo, or hotmail)? If yes, it might be a scam.
  4. Is the rental listed elsewhere with different photos or contact information? If yes, it might be a scam.
  5. Does the owner claim to have an elevated title (e.g., reverend, doctor, or missionary)? If yes, it might be a scam.
  6. Does the owner's name match the public records? If no, it might be a scam.
  7. Is the rental description poorly formatted and written in bad English? If yes, it might be a scam.
  8. Do the photos seem off (e.g., is there a photo of a ski lodge when the rental location is said to be in Miami). If yes, it might be a scam.