Searching for rental units online can be frustrating at the best of times and no one wants to fall into the trap of a scam. Most recently, rental scams have even been seen in the Waterloo region, according to CTV News. When looking for rental units it is important to be aware of red flags to help you spot potential rental scams before they spot you.
Here are 5 red flags to help you spot a potential rental scam:
- Rental Price: If the monthly rent is lower than most places, this could be a red flag. Try comparing this to other locations in the market to compare prices.
- Owners: If the owners want to communicate outside of the rental platform or they are out of the country this could be a red flag. You can try to schedule a showing and confirm that the landlord will be present to meet face-to-face.
- Pictures: If the pictures only show images of the property outside or they don’t match up to the property and the area, this could be a red flag. Try going to the address to assess the location or use Google Maps to see actual images of the rental unit.
- Premature Deposit: If the landlord asks for a deposit without a formal rental agreement or lease, this is a red flag. Request a lease or contract and review it thoroughly before providing anything.
- Financial Information: If you are asked to send money outside of the country or are redirected to a website asking for your personal and/or financial information this is a major red flag. Do not proceed if this comes up.
These red flags could help you determine if the rental property you are considering is a scam or not. Consider these tips when conducting your next rental search.
To ensure yourself from a scam even further, always be sure to know your rights as a Canadian Tenant. You can even contact your local provincial or territorial consumer affairs office for more information on any landlord or tenant information.
If you have any questions or need assistance, please call our Housing Resource Centre at 519-749-2450 or visit our website for more information on our services.
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