Tips on Avoiding Rental Scam as a New Immigrant

For most newcomers to Canada, finding a place to rent is a top priority. Most landlords, property management companies, & dedicated rental websites here are safe.

Sadly, there are some disreputable landlords who will scam you, if you are not careful and prepared. Here are some tips on avoiding rental scams in Canada:

(1) Always sign a rental lease A hard copy lease is always preferable, but these days e-leases are becoming common. Oral agreements should be avoided, as it is a common scammer strategy.

(2) Determine the property's owner Before signing the lease, figure out who the home or apartment building owner is and whether you’re dealing with a person who has the authority to rent out the unit.

(3) Try to avoid subleasing Although common, subleasing is very insecure for any tenants involved. The landlord can evict both of you if the sub-lease is forbidden by the original contract.

(4) Meet the landlord in person Meeting the landlord in person even if you rented your place online prior to arriving in Canada is another safeguard, as scammers often do not want the trouble of meeting in person.