Ottawa Rentals: Fraud Prevention
Moving is an enjoyable experience but you need to protect yourself from people out there that may be fraudulently representing themselves as landlords or actual landlords that are practicing unscrupulous business practices. By working with an agent and following some simple steps you will be able to the problems or be able to mitigate any damages if you do find yourself in an unfortunate position.
Know Your Rights
In Ontario there are very strict laws that regulate landlord and tenant relationships, rental procedures and what happens when an agreement goes bad.
Do Not Give Away Information, Exchange It
When you are applying for a rental, landlords will be asking for some very personal information: Drivers Licenses, paystubs, even social insurance information. Do not be afraid to ask for the same information back from the landlords.
Know What You Are Signing
When you are offered a lease from a landlord it is important that you look for the name of the association, legal professional or person that drafted the contract. Take the time to read the full contract and ask for an explanation of any sections that you do not fully understand and either altar the contract so that your understanding is clearly written. Have a professional third party review your contract or offer to use an Ontario Landlord and Tenant Board certified contract. Also, always insist on receiving a copy of anything you sign, if you can not immediately get a copy of the contract you should insist on keeping the original.
Leave a Money Trail
It is not common for a landlord to request payments in cash. Do not pay in cash instead you can use a personal check, money transfer or certified check. These forms of payment require your landlord to use a bank or other institution to receive payment and they leave a money trail that can be used if the worst should happen.
10 Red Flags When Looking For a Rental
Beware of a landlord that:
Requests that you view the home without the landlord present
Does not allow you to visit the home until payment is received.
Requires a cash payment
Requires payments other than the first and last months rent
Requests extensive personal information without providing reciprocal information.
Is not reachable other than via email or cell phone.
Does not request a written lease agreement of some kind
Asks you to arrive alone for a visit to the home.
Is unwilling to give you time to have the lease reviewed by a professional 3rd party.
Will not provide receipts for rent payments.
These are not an exhaustive list of situations to avoid but you are justified in being over cautious when looking for a rental in Ottawa. Although most landlords are legitimate and moral business people you should always be cautious. By working with a real estate agent for your rental in Ottawa you know that you are taking the necessary precautions. Fill out the Ottawa Real Estate Sales Rental Contact Form to get started and talk to an agent.