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Property scams to be aware of


We’ve all experienced unexpected life changes. Sometimes those changes mean you have to pack up and move. Maybe your landlord gives you notice, and you have a few short weeks to find a new home. Or you’ve landed a great new job that requires a move across provinces. Or maybe you want to move closer to your favourite takeaway restaurant so that the delivery is cheaper.


Whatever the reasons, you begin searching frantically online, see an amazing place and reach out to the owner. But how do you know that you can trust the ad? Check out our 5 top tips to be on the lookout to avoid a scam.

5 effective ways to spot online property scams

1. The owner does not want to meet you in person.

The reasons vary but could be because they say they are not in the country, or maybe even travelling for business. This is never a good sign. Landlords and owners want to know who is staying in their property, and will always want to meet you in person.

2. A cash transaction is requested.

Do you know the old saying “cash is king”? Well turns out, not in this case. Technology has advanced, and it is easy for officials to trace bank accounts and identities. So usually when a difficult-to-trace form of payment is requested, you should hear alarm bells in your head.

3. You can move in immediately, without viewing the property.

It may sound like a dream come true to tick one thing off a to-do list by not needing to view in person, and just accept a lease based on the pictures shown. I mean they look great, don’t they? So it must look exactly like that! It’s relatively easy for someone to post pictures on a marketplace without proof of ownership, so it is always best to view the property in person. That way, not only do you meet the owner or landlord, but you can check out everything that may not have been shown in the pictures listed.

4. The price is almost unbelievably good.

We all love a good bargain. The kind where you almost pinch yourself with thoughts of your good fortune. The general rule of thumb is that if it sounds too good to be true, it usually is. Any property that is listed far below the market rate is an immediate red flag. Do your research on the area and the specification of the property that you are looking for and compare all the listings that you find.

5. There is no screening process.

No one really likes admin. Collating the necessary documents needed for a rental can take time, and can even be a bit labour intensive. The reward is knowing that it is part of the legitimate process. A standard norm is that a credit check will be conducted, bank statements will be reviewed and an identity check will be verified. If the landlord does not request these documents, you should be on high alert.

Why worry about a potential scam when you can rent with HouseME?

You can avoid all the stress about worrying about an owner’s legitimacy when you sign up with HouseME. Ownership of our properties are verified before a lease is concluded, so you can rest assured that the lease is legitimate. We also offer all kinds of benefits such as DepositFREE™ rentals when you rent through HouseME.


Let us know what you are looking for from your dream rental here and we’ll send you all the properties that we have that matches your requirements. It’s that easy. Register here and let HouseME take the worry about a potential scam off your hands.

What’s your take on property scams?

If you have any more tips to add to the list or have been the victim or target of property scam before, we’d love to hear from you! Share your experience in the comments below or contact us here.



About HouseME: 

HouseME Founders Ben Shaw and Kyle Bradley

We’re on a mission to transform residential renting using technology and placing data-centric decision making at its heart. We’re committed to be the smartest way to rent, for landlords and tenants alike, making the whole process fair and stress-free. Register here and start renting smart. 


 HouseME’s Co-Founders, Kyle Bradley and Ben Shaw.


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