13 November 2011 ~ 0 Comments

Toronto Rentals: How to protect yourself from Rental Scam

In August this year, a man accused of operating a rental scam in Toronto was arrested and later released on bail. Unfortunately this is far from the first case of reported rental fraud in the city. So if you are searching for Toronto rental properties make sure you do not fall prey to one of these rip-off merchants.

Rental fraudsters prey on the anxiety people feel when while looking for somewhere to live, especially at the budget end of the market. The scams take various forms. Some con artists take a bona fide rental listing and alter the contact details before putting the doctored ad on another website. Others put up listings for properties that are non-existent or not available and try to trap you by offering extra low rent. Their plan is to get hold of your money before you realize what is going on.

To help you spot a Toronto rental scam in advance, here are some points to look out for:

  • Is the rent significantly below market value for the Toronto neighbourhood?
  • Is the landlord abroad?
  • Are they pressurizing you to send a deposit without seeing the property
  • Do they keep putting off meeting you?
  • Are they demanding cash for the deposit?

And here are some “dos and don’ts”.

Do’s

  • Only deal with reputable agencies or landlords recommended to you by people you know.
  • Insist on meeting the landlord in person and seeing the property before paying anything.
  • Pay by cheque only, after double-checking every detail.

Don’t

  • Never wire money via Western Union or Moneygram to people you don’t know personally.
  • Never send a scan of your passport or other ID. You could open yourself to identity theft.
  • If the landlord offers to send scanned ID or utility bills as proof of identity, don’t fall for it. The documents could be stolen.

More Information

http://money.ca.msn.com/banking/bankrate/article.aspx?cp-documentid=25486136

http://toronto.ctv.ca/servlet/an/local/CTVNews/20110812/toronto-rental-scam-fraud-suspect-court-110811?hub=TorontoNewHome

Image By: Allerina & Glen MacLarty

Leave a Reply