5 Rental Scam Red Flags - Decoding Property Listings

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With 20 years of experience offering high quality rental apartments all across Canada, we're happy to share some tips and tricks to protect you from some of the latest scams happening in the marketplace right now. Rest assured that you can trust our Skyline Living website to search for an available apartment in a location near you. Our rental process is simple and transparent so you can be confident in your choice to rent with Skyline Living.

Why Prospective Tenants are a Target 

Scams of all varieties are at every turn and the renting public needs to be more and more careful – especially when searching online. Not only do you need to look out for fraudulent emails coming in but being wary of anything you read on the internet is healthy these days including property listings.  

 Whether you’re a college or university student, your lease is expiring, you’re downsizing from a house, or you are looking for a fresh start somewhere, apartment searching in Canada has become even easier with online listings. August and September are one of the busiest times for renting due to students looking for accommodations, families moving before the school year, not to mention the better weather for moving, which is one reason why you will also see more scams at this time of the year. As quoted in The Globe and Mail, Chris Borkowski, a Real Estate Broker, says that scammers take advantage of the larger market that creates demand for rental units that just aren’t there.   

A group of four young adult students walking casually and comfortably with each other down the streetAnyone Can Fall Victim to a Rental Scam 

Often, International students begin their apartment search while out of country and are not able to physically visit in-person to ensure that the advertised apartment even exists. Conversely, local prospective tenants may be looking to secure a place quickly due to how little vacancies are available, leading them to make the decision to put down a deposit before seeing the apartment in-person. It’s important to remember that anyone can fall victim to a scam. Young or old.

Five red flags that may indicate a rental scam: 

  1. “Wow, what an incredible deal!” 
    When the price seems too good to be true, it most likely is. Scammers know that affordable housing is tricky to find and will exploit that in order to lure in prospective renters.  

  2. “I’m not in the country right now, but...” 
    People running the scam do not want to meet with you or show you a non-existent apartment. In order to get around this, they often claim to be out of the country or even just out of town. 

  3. “I wish I could see better quality photos.” 
    Rental scams often use low resolution, grainy screenshot images from other websites or property listings that won’t be high quality. Another image-based red flag is if they only show the outside of the building and do not have interior shots. 

  4. “This property description seems unprofessional.” 
    If there are errors such as poor grammar, typos, or unusual punctuation, the property description was likely not professionally written. A legitimate company or landlord will take the time to proofread and edit their descriptions so that the written portion is clear and easy to understand.  

  5. “Why wasn’t I screened properly? This is too easy.” 
    A good tenant wants a good property manager. You want someone who will do things the right way and an application screening process is all part of the rental journey for a reason. Just as you’re making sure that this property manager or Leasing Agent is doing things properly, they want to ensure you’re who you say you are as well. 

An older man, wearing glasses and smiling while browsing his smart phoneStay secure. Stay savvy. 

The best thing that you can do to not be scammed is to read up on concerning issues like reading this blog today. Staying educated on the latest scams and the signs to look for is your surest way of not becoming another victim.  

If you’re looking for a rental apartment in Canada, be sure to visit our website to see if we have an appropriate building in your community. Our Skyline Living website has a helpful search feature that shows all our available units within specified areas and can connect you with one of our Leasing Agents. Look for our apartment's ads online here: 


Screenshot of a Kijiji advertisement for Skyline Living’s Addison Square Apartments with notations indicating where to find important ad elements of a trusted ad

Screenshot of a Skyline Living Kijiji advertisement for Addison Square Apartments with notations indicating where to find important ad elements of a trusted ad

You can also find advertisements for our available rental units on Facebook, Instagram, Microsoft, or Google. To the right is an example of one of our Kijiji ads for our Addison Square building with circles and arrows indicating the elements of a reliable rental ad that you can look out for, such as high quality images with a variety of exterior and interior shots. On the right side of the screenshot, you can see our company logo, that we have been posting on Kijiji for since 2013, and a link to our website. 

If available, it’s always a good idea to check out the website of the property management company and verify that it is a legitimate enterprise. 

We have apartment communities in seven provinces across Canada and you can filter by province, city, and number of bedrooms, to narrow down the search. You can even use our advanced Search function to filter by the types of amenities you desire like swimming pools, pet-friendly policies, and proximity to schools. 

Enjoy browsing our available apartments without worry of being scammed. Simply click on a building’s name in the search results page and to find the phone number to contact the Leasing Agent for that specific property. If you feel more comfortable conversing virtually, click the “Inquire Now” button and fill in the contact form to send us an email to get started.  

Renting with Skyline Living ensures a professional rental experience with a trustworthy Leasing Agent that you can count on. Following these tips is a great place to start and we wish you the best of luck with your apartment search!