Tips and tricks when looking to rent in Canada and avoid scams

The task of looking for a place to rent in Canada can be fast and furious. To help you navigate it, we spoke to an expert for some tips and tricks on sorting through it all.

Daily Hive spoke to Giacomo Ladas, communications manager with, who gave some insight on what you should do and be on the lookout for when it comes to finding a place to rent.

Be prepared

Ladas says when you are looking for a new place to call home, research the market and get ahold of a real estate agent if possible.

“Prepare questions before a viewing, pay attention to the neighbourhood, the noise levels, even access to public transportation,” he added.

Budgeting and financial responsibility are also very important, like preparing and knowing what kind of security deposit you need to have on hand, along with making a monthly budget, which is typically about 30% of household income, but that is sometimes not the case.

Ladas added that creating that monthly budget will give you more power when you rent. 

Have all of your documents in order and hand when you finally pull the trigger and go to see a place — that includes references and a credit report, which the landlord will want to see and may speed up the process.

“If you are viewing [a] property, check anything the landlord might want to hide. Open cabinets; check sinks and taps run clearly. Ask questions [like] if there are parking fees [or] if [the] building has a laundry room. Don’t get blindsided by things you didn’t expect,” he added.

Is there a best time to look for a place to rent?

If you ever thought a certain time of the month or year was the best time to try and look for a new place to rent, you are onto something.

According to Ladas, most people like to move during the summer months, but the demand for apartments also tends to increase the price of listings.

Winter rent prices are sometimes lower, but moving in the colder months is not the most desirable, so summer is usually a better time. More units are available, but typically, more competition comes with it.

The start of the month is usually better for listings popping up, but the current supply crisis is “kind of defying” that logic right now.

How to avoid a scam listing

As the number of places to rent continues to fall behind demand, more and more scam listings have been popping up in Canada.

“It’s such desperate times right now. This is when people are most likely to get scammed. It’s something we are seeing,” Ladas said.

There are four big red flags to be on the lookout for if you are dealing with a scam rent listing: listings that are well below rental market rates, a request to hold a property if money is sent immediately, the landlord’s inability to meet in person, or the landlord’s ability to meet in person but is unable to show the property.

“Research property rates and never send money in advance. Sometimes a unit is too good to be true, if it’s too good to be true it typically is.”

Most reputable rental buildings also have Google reviews, which Ladas encouraged prospective tenants to check out.