Rental scams

False owner scenario

An unsuspecting renter responds to an advertisement for a rental home. The renter meets with an individual who identifies herself as the landlord. After viewing the property, the renter again meets with the landlord to deliver a sum of money (over $2000) to pay for rent and the initial damage deposit. The renter signs an agreement. They are provided a key to the residence and a date to take occupancy.

The renter moves in to the residence and only becomes concerned when an individual arrives at the house, belongings in hand, as he too, has rented the home.

Often times, the owner has others manage the rental of the property, or a sub-lease has been allowed with little documentation.

two keys and a house keychain

Rental deposit scams

This scam usually involves an individual who is actively seeking a rental property. The suspect advertises a property and explains that the property is really high in demand. In order to secure the property, the suspect demands the potential renter to send a deposit without viewing the property. In some cases, the suspect asks for personal information and an e-transfer without meeting in person. Once the information and money are received, the suspect usually ends communication with the renter.

Avoid being scammed

As a renter, there are some precautionary steps you can take to protect yourself from falling victim to scams such as this.

Be suspicious if:

For general information relating to entering into a tenancy or ending a tenancy, please visit the BC Residential Tenancy Site. Additionally, you can review and familiarize yourself with the Residential Tenancy Act.

For a list of current scams or to report on-line fraud, visit the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.

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