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.