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Mounties cautioning would-be renters to be careful with deposits

File photo. Mounties are warning desperate renters to do some research before they commit to a rental deposit.
File photo. Mounties are warning desperate renters to do some research before they commit to a rental deposit. The Canadian Press

It’s no secret that the housing market is hot in Metro Vancouver, but renters are being warned not to be so eager to put down that rent deposit.

The RCMP is cautioning people after several would-be North Shore residents were scammed last week.

Police say they were scammed out of their deposits after responding to an ad online.

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The Better Business Bureau’s Evan Kelly says that some residents feel pressure because there is a limited supply of rental units in Metro Vancouver.

But Kelly says people should do their homework before giving anyone your money.

“You’ve got to go view the property. You want to go see it in person, with the landlord there. You want to see if that property is located on several different sites, that’s more indicative than potentially legitimate. You want to ask if it’s an apartment or a condo. You want to knock on a couple of doors to make sure that people living there understand that this is a legitimate rental property, and the person you’re speaking with is, in fact, the landlord.”

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Police add more red flags include the rental price being very low, the unit isn’t able to be viewed, communication is only through email, and they request for money is up front.

Kelly adds it’s also a good idea to ask for references from your potential landlord.