Alert… there are many fraudulent rental scams that pique the interest of many as often they seem too good to be true. There are some tell-tale signs to watch out for. Many scammers will create fraudulent classified ads for available rental units in areas that are in high demand.
A few recommendations for people looking to lease a property:
1. Pull title for the property and cross reference with government ID with the person who is signing the lease agreement. In our view, it is mandatory to confirm with the property title to ensure you are dealing with and signing a lease agreement with the person who is rightful property owner and has the capacity to enter into an agreement to lease the property.
2. If the offering appears to be too good to be true, trust your instinct in that it may be a scam… Delve deeper.
3. Enlist the help of a licensed property management company.
4. Bring someone to your viewing of the property, and ensure you get the phone number and email coordinates of the person you are meeting. Keep that in your calendar for others to see. If you feel uncomfortable, leave or don’t go!
5. Unless using a trusted property management company, we suggest viewing the property you plan to lease before committing to a lease agreement. As we all know, photos can be misleading… wide angle photos can make a small space look huge and grainy or poor-quality photographs can hide faulty things.
6. We recommend your landlord be a licensed property management company that is governed by local laws that protect the public. In addition, if the property owner is or becomes a non-resident owner to Canada for taxation, then you as the tenant may be liable for the non-resident withholding taxes of 25% of the gross rental amount plus interest and penalties, if applicable.
“When you receive rental income from real property in Canada, payer, such as the tenant, or agent, such as the property manager, has to withhold non-resident tax at the rate of 25% on the gross rental income paid or credited to you. The payer has to pay the tax to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) on or before the 15th day of the month following the month the rental income is paid or credited to you. The payer has to give you two copies of an NR4, showing the gross amount of rental income paid or credited to you during the year and the amount of non-resident tax withheld.”
Citysearch Rental Network Inc.