Looking for Quality Homes for Rent in Ontario? Here Are 5 Things You Need to Know to Avoid Rental Scams

The rental industry, like many industries, has its own distinct scams that you need to be aware of. When it comes to finding the right homes for rent, it’s important to know what to look for.
One of the reasons LeaseOurHouse.com was founded was to help tenants avoid becoming victim to potential rental scams. Our rental platform and app serves both landlords and tenants, meaning we have a vested interest in making it safe for both parties.
In this article, we are going to share a few tips that will help you avoid falling victim to a scam when looking for apartments, condos, and homes for rent.

1. Don’t Send Money First

This scam is one of the most obvious, but people still fall for it. When searching for a rental property, never agree to send money to a landlord before you’ve had a chance to see the property itself. In this scenario, the scammer will suggest that they are out of town, have left the country for some reason, or make up some other excuse to justify why they can’t meet you in person to show you the property.
This is a bad idea for various reasons. Not only do you risk losing your money, but it is never good practice to agree to rent a property if you haven’t had a chance to inspect it. Agreeing to rent a place sight-unseen leaves you open to a whole host of potential legal and financial headaches down the road.

2. More Common in Big Cities

Be more cautious if you are looking to rent a property in a larger metropolis. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the majority of rental scams tend to take place in larger cities. In addition, most scams occur on rental units with a monthly rent of $1,200. The reason for this has to do with that price point being an attractive one for tenants desperate to find affordable housing.

3. Verify the Address

You should verify any listing that has an address. If a specific home for rent that you are considering is a bungalow, but the listing shows a different house altogether that should raise red flags. As we mentioned before, never agree to rent a place unless you’ve inspected it in person if at all possible. In a case where you don’t live in the city, try and have a friend visit the property for you. It’s never in your favor to rent a property without having the opportunity to scout it.

4. Cross-Search Any Homes for Rent Text

Another tactic to screen for rental scams involves cross-searching rental listing text. Many scammers will simply copy text from other rental and real estate listings. A quick Google search will help you determine if the listing text is being re-used or not. While certain phrases may be common and may appear more than once, a duplicate listing should not.

5. Fake Employees of Rental Companies

With so many homes for rent, scammers have started posing as employees of rental companies. They accomplish this by using logos and names associated with established companies. However, in this scam scenario, the contact email is almost always a personal email.
If you are skeptical about a potential home for rent and the listing has the name of a rental company, call that company and verify that the listing exists and that the individual actually works for them. A simple phone call can save you a lot of trouble.

About LeaseOurHouse.com | Toronto, Scarborough, Markham, Barrie, St Catharines, Kingston, Ottawa, Ontario

Finding the right rental property takes a considerable amount of effort and attention. Unfortunately, the entire process is made even more complicated with the various scams that exist.
LeaseOurHouse.com is an online platform that provides tenants with security, transparency, and the peace of mind they need when looking for quality homes for rent. Every listing on our website is legitimate because we focus on providing an exceptional experience for landlords and tenants. We offer our services to tenants in Toronto, Scarborough, Markham, Barrie, St. Catharines, Kingston, Ottawa, and throughout the province of Ontario.
We eliminate potential rental scams by screening every listing, and ensuring that they are legitimate and worth your valuable time and attention. We also collect and hold onto your first and last month’s rent until you get the keys to the property to move in.
Visit LeaseOurHouse.com today and experience a simplified and safe rental experience.

6 Things the Best Landlords Do to Boost their Rental Business in Ontario

Being a landlord can be a demanding yet rewarding initiative. Once you’ve listed your home, apartment, or condo for rent, there are several important things to consider if you want to maintain a good relationship with your tenant.

In large municipalities in Ontario like Mississauga, Markham, Whitby, and Toronto, the market is fairly competitive and there is almost always a large pool of renters. In this article, we are going to provide some general tips that will help you identify the right type of tenants, while also maintaining a positive relationship with them.

1. Do a Background Check on Potential Tenants

We emphasize the importance of performing a thorough credit check on potential tenants prior to completing a rental agreement.  This will save you from problems collecting rent in the future among other potential surprises. A good benchmark is for the tenant’s income to be approximately three times the amount of the rental payment. It is also recommended to ask for and consider references from previous landlords if they are available.

Also, keep in mind any anti-discrimination laws for your province. In many cities in Ontario, for instance, it’s illegal for landlords to discriminate on race and gender among other factors.

2. Use the Ontario Standard Lease Guidelines

Before you list your home, apartment, or condo for rent, you’re going to need to prepare a thorough lease agreement.

Luckily for Ontarians, lease documents were standardized by the Ontario government when they implemented standard lease laws in April 2018. These laws require landlords to provide mandatory fields like the names of the landlord and renter, the tenancy term, rent amount, any services included, and other terms that are being added to the lease. In addition, these new guidelines allow for optional additional terms, and general information regarding situations like ending a tenancy, subletting, pets, guests, and more.

It’s always recommended to have a lawyer look through your standard rental agreement to ensure that it conforms to all legal requirements. A well drafted lease agreement in compliance with all provincial laws will stand a better chance of holding up in court should any contentious issues arise.

3. Stay Up to Date on Laws Regarding Listing an Apartment for Rent in Ontario

Certain provinces and cities set up basic requirements for renting a space. For many locations, heating, water and electricity must be provided. For example,

Also take the following into account:

  • There are limits on how much you can increase rent per year.
  • Most provinces do not permit entering your tenants’ property without good reason or prior notice.

Read up on your local laws before listing your home for rent.

4. Give a Warm Welcome to New Tenants – Respect Goes a Long Way

As a landlord, your top priority is your property. Renting your property out to tenants requires a certain degree of trust. Having said that, you should always try and show your new tenants respect if you want them to respect your property. Start by getting to know them, discussing the city if they are new to it, and demonstrating that you are easily accessible should they need to be in contact with you. Also, consider creating a simple brochure listing important contact details and other local attractions including the following:

  • Restaurants
  • Hospitals
  • Local Grocery Stores
  • Libraries
  • Parks
  • Museums
  • And other areas of interest

Something which is certainly not required, but is being done by some landlords lately has been to keep some basics ready for when a new tenant moves in. In some cases, landlords are providing bath tissue, a few bars of soap, and other essentials. You can even provide a few bottles of water and light snacks. Little gestures like this go a long way, and will help you start your new relationship with your tenants in a positive way.

5. Communication Is Key

One of the best things you can do as a landlord once your tenants have settled in is be available and communicate clearly with them when it is necessary. Whether you make yourself available for repair requests, to discuss changes to the lease, or just to check in to make sure everything is functioning as it should, good communication not only protects your property and investment, but it also makes you an active and reliable landlord too.

And always outline any specific rules that you have in your lease. While many landlords in Ontario try and forbid pets, in most cases, this request is illegal and something that cannot be enforced in most cases. If you are trying to keep your property pet-free, not only will you need to communicate this clearly when screening tenants, but you’ll have to find a way to determine if they actually have pets or not. This is where communication comes into play and the importance of communicating early on.

6. Maintain the Property

While this next topic appears obvious, many landlords choose to neglect it. If you want your tenants to respect your property, take the time to keep the interior and exterior clean and presentable before listing the home or apartment for rent, be willing to fix issues as they arise, and respect the fact that your tenant is paying to rent your property.

About LeaseOurHouse.com – List Your Rental Property in Toronto & the GTA, Mississauga, Oshawa, Ajax, Whitby, Markham, Oakville, Ontario

When you are ready to list your apartment, condo, or house for rent, LeaseOurHouse.com is your one-stop destination for streamlining the rental process.

As a landlord, some of the advantages you’ll enjoy include:

  • Increased Exposure: We advertise your listing on our social media channels.
  • Mobile app support with live notifications.
  • Assurance that every tenant you talk to is genuinely interested (tenants must create an account and ask for a viewing request prior to you being notified).
  • No upfront fees, exclusivity, or commitments: We only charge 25% of the first month’s rent if you approve and select a tenant that we provide.
  • We provide a FREE simplified credit check and a reference guide that provides tips to checking references and getting the most value out of them.

We have packaged our 20 years of experience in the rental property industry, bringing you the most effective and user-friendly online rental website and platform. Visit our website today. It has never been this easy to list your property and find great tenants, whether you’re renting a property in Toronto, the GTA, Mississauga, Markham, Whitby, Hamilton, Ottawa and many other locations throughout Ontario.

7 Things to Know When Searching for a House, Condo or Apartment for Rent in Ontario

Finding local houses, condos or apartments for rent can take a lot of effort, but finding the right one is an even bigger challenge. Most online services currently available are less than helpful and deficient at various levels.

LeaseOurHouse.com is working to change the way you approach renting by simplifying the property rental process for both tenants and landlords.

Below we have highlighted a few important tips that are designed to help you when it comes to looking for your new home or apartment for rent.

1. Double Check Your Rental Terms

Every house or apartment for rent has an extensive list of policies. Most properties have restrictions on how many residents can reside in a single unit at a time. Others have rules against pets, or overnight visitors. While some restrictions may be difficult for a landlord to enforce, things like noise violations are easy to follow through on.

When signing a lease, always make sure you understand the terms of your rental agreement. Even though certain restrictions are unenforceable, going against the wishes of your landlord (if they are reasonable) is a quick way to get on their bad side and will only serve to sour the relationship.

2. Be Friendly with Your Landlord

It’s no secret landlords are people too. How you talk to them lines up with how they treat you much of the time. In fact, most landlords will tell you that the nicest residents are usually the first in line to receive help if they need it.

If you ever have to make a complaint, be good-natured and calm about it when approaching your landlord. A little kindness goes a long way and will encourage your landlord to return the favor should something go wrong.

3. Keep Track of Your Pets

Chances are, any experienced landlord might recall stories of chewed up furniture and complaints of barking at night. If you have pets, regardless of how well behaved they are, let your landlord know you’ll be putting effort into being responsible for them.

Most landlords dislike pets because of the odors they create, the damage they cause to carpets and hardwood floors, and the general noise made by them.

If you do have a pet, establish early on that you are a responsible pet owner that knows how to properly care for your pet.

4. Your Landlord Doesn’t Call All the Shots

No matter what a landlord tries to tell you, they do not call all the shots. In fact, while the Residential Tenancies Act protects both tenants and landlords, many of the laws found within it provide tenants with substantial protection. It’s important you familiarize yourself with these laws.

For example, Landlords must provide 24 hours notice before entering your property, they cannot forbid pets in normal housing situations, rent can only be increased based on the yearly guidelines set by the Ontario government, and compensation is owed if they breach the lease and try to re-rent the property.

And in some cases, your landlord may be working for a property management company. This is common in large rental complexes, with condos, or with high-interest and luxury properties. In a situation like this, your complaints will slowly work their way up the chain of command. By understanding this, you will better understand the limitations of your landlord’s power and your legal rights as a tenant.

5. Negotiation Is Always Possible

The contract for your house or apartment for rent isn’t fully set in stone until you sign it. Depending on the market you are renting in, you may be able to negotiate a different price.

In addition, small changes to policies regarding smoking, pets, security deposits, and binding contracts can sometimes be tweaked with a short and courteous conversation even after the lease is signed. Landlords are people too, and many times will accommodate changes to the rental agreement if they are reasonable.

6. Know Your Rights

In addition to pricing, you have the right to privacy. Check your province’s local laws for more details, but generally, your landlord cannot enter your residence without providing you with at least 24 hours notice.

Also, any major problems with the rented space, such as a broken heating unit in the winter or major roof leaks, can be considered grounds for delayed rent in many cases and are issues that are worth pursuing if your landlord is refusing to make timely repairs. We recommend checking the Residential Tenancies Act if you run into this type of predicament.

7. Know What To Expect

Renting is a common practice for many Ontarians. With housing prices continuously on the rise, many turn to renting for the affordability and flexibility it provides.

When searching for houses and apartments to rent, it’s important to be prepared. Some of the initial simple steps to consider are as follows:

  • Prepare a budget detailing any expenses that you will incur (rent, utilities, etc.).
  • Make a list of areas that you want to live.
  • Decide whether you want to rent an apartment, or a house.
  • Set aside enough money for first and last month’s rent.

Finding the right home to rent can be challenging. To find the property that is right for you takes careful planning, many tours, and you have to scour the market for a place that is the right fit for you.

What can be better than an online platform like LeaseOurHouse.com that simplifies this process for you?

About LeaseOurHouse.com | Toronto & GTA, Mississauga, Oshawa, Ajax, Whitby, Markham, Oakville | Ontario

Clearly, there’s a lot to consider when it comes to finding the right residential property for rent. If you’re looking for an apartment, condo or house for rent in Ontario, LeaseOurHouse.com can make the process far simpler.

LeaseOurHouse.com has made it as streamlined and easy as possible to search for a rental property in Ontario.

Visit LeaseOurHouse.com today and experience the difference.

Some of the advantages that you receive as a tenant through LeaseOurHouse.com are as follows:

  1. Landlords offer exclusive discounts and incentives on Leaseourhouse.com that they do not offer anywhere else.
  2. Full transparency throughout the entire Rental process, you can even view the lease upfront in the property listing.
  3. We provide tenants with a proper Home Inspection Form, to document the condition of the property when moving in.
  4. You have peace of mind that your rental deposit is secure. We hold the deposits in full, until the landlord provides the tenant with keys to the new rental premises.
  5. The LeaseOurHouse.com website is always featuring different coupons and promotions i.e. packaging discounts, moving discounts etc.
  6. You can complete the entire rental process including the rental application and payment of first and last month’s rent, right from your smartphone or tablet via our simple to use mobile applications.