From Housing Services: Tips to avoid rental scams

Beware of Rental Scams!

The Toronto rental market is extremely competitive, especially for rentals beginning September 1. We would like to remind students who are looking for a place to live off-campus for the coming school year – especially those who are not going to be in Toronto over the summer for in-person viewings – that landlord/rental housing scams are real and on the rise in the GTA and can happen to an unsuspecting renter. 

Here are our best tips to help you avoid getting scammed:

  • Conduct basic research. Be suspicious of any rent or unit that has a price that is listed is far below market value or sounds too good to be true. 
  • When looking for a rental, never rent sight-unseen and always meet the landlord in person. Consider renting from verified property management companies if you are renting from outside of the GTA and are unable to schedule an in-person viewing.
  • Landlords can only legally ask for first and last month’s rent and a refundable key deposit, which should be paid at the time of ​signing the lease. ​No other fees are legal. 
  • Never pay a rental deposit with cash, wire transfer, Moneygram, Bitcoin, or MoneyPak, as these forms of payment are impossible to track.

Click here to learn more about common rental housing scams and check out more tips on how to protect yourself from Landlord or Rental scams. For more information or to consult with a member of the University of Toronto Housing Services team, contact housing.services@utoronto.ca.


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