No matter whether you are renting or buying, it is important that you protect yourself from frauds and scams. In general, if a deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Finding a place to rent may be as easy as walking through a neighbourhood that interests you looking for “for rent” signs, or reading your local classifieds. You may also turn to the Internet and search online classified postings. Whatever way you find your next place to live, be aware that there are people who could try to cheat or defraud you.
Warning signs of rental scams:
Rental rates that are well below the current market rates.
Landlords who require you to leave a deposit on the spot without any formal rental agreement in place or with a much later move-in date. They could be showing you an apartment to which they have somehow gained access but which is not actually for rent.
Landlords or homeowners who are out of the country and require you to wire them a security deposit before they will send you the key.
Someone who is willing to rent you a property without meeting you or doing a background check on you.
Links within emails that send you to websites asking for personal and/or financial information. These are usually phishing emails that expose you to financial fraud.
Ads that show pictures of the outside of the property only, or pictures that do not match the actual property.
Real estate fraud
Real estate fraud can result in heavy financial losses for victims, ranging from losing their homes to having new mortgages taken out in their name. To learn more about how real estate fraud happens, how to prevent it and what to do if you become a victim, visit the Fraud section.