Speaking from Experience, Avoiding Rental Scams

18 December 2017

Tips for Tenants:

When you want to lease a home in Toronto there are many reasons why hiring your own agent (A Licensed Realtor©) is important. The main reason is to avoid being scammed and ensure you are working with a professional who will represent your interests. Recent stories in the news make this blog post very timely and important to you, the tenant.

Real Estate Professionals in Toronto must carry with them at all times, their real estate license from the Real Estate Council of Ontario (RECO)*. As a client or customer, you may request to see your agent’s credentials. Look for the small paper certificate or better yet, look for the e-Version on their phones. Check the name and expiry date.

A licensed Realtor must be working with a Real Estate Brokerage, like REMAX CONDOS PLUS. When provided with a business card from your agent, call the brokerage to have the agent paged to call you back. Or ask them for their brokerage name and number and call to check they are with a legitimate brokerage.

Check their website(s) to ensure they are doing business as a Realtor.

The benefits of hiring your own Real Estate Professional are great and ultimately, they will consult with you on your rental needs, provide potential listings and show appropriate suites. They will prepare your offer paperwork and ask you to prepare the supporting requirements, prior to a showing.

The mutual goal for both you and your Realtor is to find you, the tenant, a great suite, at the right price, timeframe and location!

Tips for Landlords

When you wish to lease your condo, house or apartment using a licensed Realtor can provide some extra protection against the potential of a scammer or poor quality tenant. Tenants in Ontario have a great deal of power so you want to mitigate the potential of risk by leveraging the skills, experience, and talent or a Real Estate Professional such as the ones working with REMAX CONDOS PLUS.

Your Realtor will want to verify you own the property, so providing evidence such a tax bill in your name will help. Don’t be surprised if your realtor, does a background search on you, just as you do your research on your new agent.

When marketing and showing your investment suite, a Realtor (licensed Agent) will always be present. This will protect your suite from having strangers walking through. A list of the agents who visited your suite is available from the Brokerage. Also, your realtor will ensure the rules you set - such as times for showings, removing footwear at the entrance, etc. are properly managed.

Tenant verification

Your realtor will verify employment, social media presence (avoiding ghosting), current residence status and credit report. They may coordinate a meeting between the landlord and prospective tenant if you wish to meet an applicant before accepting them.

Your realtor will accept the deposit on your behalf and keep the funds in trust until 1 - they clear and 2 - the closing date.

Ultimately the goal is to find and secure the best tenant for your investment property.

Guest Blogger:
Pamela Simons, MBA, SRS
Real Estate Professional
RE/MAX Condos Plus