It’s important to protect yourself from potential scams when you are looking for a new place to rent. Here are 10 tips to help you identify and avoid rental scams.
Significantly Low Rent
Have you found a deal that is too good to be true? The rent should not be substantially lower than the current market value, if it is it may be a scam. Check other listings in the general area and see what the going rates for similar units are.
Pressure From the Agent or Landlord
The landlord is too eager or pushy when trying to get you to lease the suite.
No Credit and Background Check Required
Be suspicious if the landlord does not request any tenant screening processes such as credit checks, employment verification or references.
Have a Reason For Not Showing You the Property
The landlord has an excuse for not showing you the property or meeting with you. If possible, dealing local in person is best. Always see the apartment in person before sending money or filling out an application.
Large Upfront Fee or Security Deposit
A request for payment of high upfront fees or security deposits is also a sign of a scam.
Don’t Wire Funds
Is someone asking you to send money via Western Union or MoneyGram? These methods of money transfer are not traceable. When you do provide payment use an e-transfer, cheque or credit card to leave a definite paper trail.
Review the Expectations and Agreement
Signing a proper tenancy agreement protects both you and the landlord. It should include names and addresses for the landlord and be signed by both parties. Be sure to review the agreement and see if anything seems out of place.
Use Broken English and a Sob Story in Their Posting
Emails from scammers are often full of grammatical mistakes, typos and have a long or sad story to them.
Don’t Give Out Financial Information
There is no reason for a landlord to ask for your bank account number or credit card number.
Confirm Landlords Identity
Make sure that the landlord has a legal right to rent the property. To do this, ask to see recent utility bills or picture I.D. as proof they are the person named in the document.
Who to Notify About Fraud or Scam Attempts:
- Contact your local RCMP Detachment or police service of jurisdiction in your area
- Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre: www.antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca
- Internet Fraud Complaint Center: www.ic3.gov