Rental Scams Are On The Rise In Canada & Here Are Some Signs You Might Be Being Conned

If a deal is too good to be true, it probably is!

Trending Associate Editor
A residential building with balconies in Montreal.

A residential building with balconies in Montreal.

Canada's housing market has been rife with problems lately and things don't look good for those looking to rent in the country either.

According to Vancouver-based rental platform liv.rent, there's been a 15% increase in rental scams in Canada recently.

This includes everything from false profiles and fake listings, to more sophisticated cons.

The company has noted that while there's been a 47% increase in rental activity on their platform in June this year (compared to June 2021) "reports of suspicious listings have nearly tripled."

There are many reasons why the company believes these scams are currently soaring. Growing interest rates, low housing supply, high rent and increased competition are all factors making things harder for tenants in Canada.

And with even more students and permanent residents expected this year, things might just get worse.

One of the biggest difficulties for renters out there? Spotting fake listings and profiles.

The company is cautioning renters to watch out for online properties with blurry photos, obscure address details, and demands for personal information or cash deposits.

Thinking about renting in the near future? Here's some other advice on spotting these cons a miles away, from liv.rent.

​Too good to be true

If you spot a rental price that looks startlingly or unusually low, then it might very well be a false listing or a scam.

After all, if it seems too good to be true, that might be because it is!

Demands for cash deposits

This one is a bit of a no-brainer.

If a landlord is acting shifty and asking for money early on in the process, then it's best to just walk away before you end up in hot water.

Reluctance to use traceable payment methods

Watch out for landlords or agents asking for cash, as opposed to cheques or e-transfers.

It's always best to make big payments through a means that is fully traceable, so you're protected if anything goes wrong.

Difficulty arranging viewings

Another one that goes without saying but if you're unable to view the property, that's usually not a good sign.

If a landlord is constantly making excuses not to have a viewing or shifting dates and times, then you're right to be suspicious.

And definitely don't transfer any money until you've seen the place, no matter how much they press you for a deposit!

Lack of screening

Good landlords will want to screen and verify their potential tenants.

If yours isn't keen on this step, and wants to move directly to the payment process, that's a red flag.

So there you have it, renters! Keep an eye out for suspicious behaviour and keep your hard-earned money safe from scammers.

This article's cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.

Janice Rodrigues
Trending Associate Editor
Janice Rodrigues is an Associate Editor for Narcity Canada’s Trending Desk focused on Canadian immigration and passports, and is based in Scarborough, Ontario.
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