The public is being warned about a rental scam in Hamilton.
The Realtors Association of Hamilton-Burlington (RAHB) says it has received several reports from local real-estate agents who are finding their for-sale properties posted incorrectly, and without permission, for lease on various websites, including Kijiji and prop2go.com.
“We’ve noticed that since the rental market in Hamilton has become more challenging with a lack of rental inventory, these scams have increased in frequency,” says RAHB CEO George O’Neill.
“People are renting properties in Hamilton without conducting proper research because there are not enough rentals to serve the need — and some people are even renting properties sight-unseen to ensure they have a place to live.”
Hamilton police say if you see or are affected by a rental scam, report the ad to the website, work with your financial institution if money has been sent, and report incidents to police and the Canadian Anti Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501.
To prevent yourself from becoming a victim, police and RAHB recommend attending the location and meeting the landlord before paying any money, and conducting additional research on listed properties.
“Using a local realtor to rent a property can also alleviate any concerns related to the issues of renting privately,” added O’Neill.