Toronto has a hot rental market and it is, one of the most expensive Canadian cities to live in. These facts have led to a spike in property rental scams all across the city and despite increased media attention; almost half of Toronto’s population (47%) currently renting are still at risk. City News has reported that new Canadians and students are the most susceptible to such scams.
Victims, many of whom are international students or newcomers, are now short thousands of dollars after paying money upfront for properties falsely advertised. Fraudulent Landlords and property scammers lure renters with cheap rents and low deposits. They also request to obtain, sensitive personal information and bank details, in identity theft scams.
Spotting the red flags of a rental scam
According to lawyers at Devry Smith Frank LLP (DSF), a Toronto law firm servicing Canadians since 1964, scammers target new Canadians and students because they are more likely to be unaware of the laws and regulations. Additionally, they are unfamiliar with the market and the rental prices. This vulnerable group is also under added pressure to find and secure a home, leaving them more prone to hand over payments upfront in a rush to not lose out on a rental opportunity.
“Every single day people are looking to find a place to move into. The real estate market is definitely booming and as more and more people choose to rent rather than buy a home and they turn to online to do so, the perfect environment for abuse is created. Perpetrators leverage the anonymity of the digital world – it’s so easy for anyone to pose as a landlord of an exquisite property in a much sought after area of the city, using fake names and photos to attract potential renters. Some can even go as far as working in collaboration with property owners to arrange viewings and forge contracts. As soon as the money is transferred – usually wired, they disappear. We are urging all future tenants to do their research and due diligence and to consult a lawyer when something seems too good to be true,” said a DSF representative.
How can a lawyer help
A significant number of people, who have already fallen victim to rental fraud, do not take action. Mainly this inaction is because the victim does not know any there is something that can be done. Lawyers can assist with due diligence before renting. Conducting background and property searches to determine or confirm the true owners of the property. A lawyer can also help begin the process of tracking the fraudsters and commencing legal proceedings to retrieve the lost funds. DSF is committed to providing the necessary guidance to not only finding a resolution, but also avoiding issues from happening in the first place.
About Devry Smith Frank LLP (DSF)
Devry Smith Frank LLP, a full-service Toronto law firm, is comprised of over 175 dedicated legal and support staff to better service clients needs. DSF has a highly regarded history of serving clients locally and internationally, delivering personalised and transparent legal services. Moreover, the lawyers of DSF have expertise in virtually every area of law and are continuously driven to delivering value to their clients. Since 1964, Devry Smith Frank LLP has been a trusted advisor and advocate for corporations, individuals and small businesses. These enduring relationships form the cornerstones on which the law firm is built.
Company Name: Devry Smith Frank LLP
Contact Person: Media Relations
Email: Send Email
Address:95 Barber Greene Road, Suite 100
State: Ontario, M3C 3E9