Landlords often take many steps to vet potential tenants before renting a property. However, it is important that property owners be on the lookout for fake references, forged credit reports and possible scams. Landlord and tenant issues resulting from scams can cause serious financial issues for Ontario rental owners.
Multiple property owners have come forward about an individual who used fake references to rent properties, then stopped paying rent after moving in. The Ontario man in question allegedly rented three separate condominiums in Liberty Village, Toronto, using fake documentation and having his friends pose as legitimate former landlords. All three property owners reported that, once the man moved into the condominiums, he became aggressive and refused to pay rent.
The tenant also allegedly illegally advertised a bedroom in the unit online and took deposits from interested renters without allowing them to move in. One of these prospective renters reports that they have still not received their $2,000 deposit back. Landlord and tenant issues like this one are often dealt with through an eviction, but this alleged scammer was able to remain in the property for months while the eviction process unfolded.
Ontario's Landlord and Tenant Board does allow property owners to make claims for lost rent, and this particular individual has been ordered to pay large sums of money back to certain landlords. However, navigating this system and getting the best result can be a challenge for landlords or prospective tenants who are in a negative situation with a scammer. Those in Toronto or nearby areas who need help with landlord and tenant issues such as this should contact a licensed paralegal with experience in landlord tenant law.
Source: CBC News, "Toronto 'cool guy' wanted by multiple landlords for double-ended rental scam", Trevor Dunn, Nov. 14, 2017