A recent story in the Star about this has conjured memories of the 200+ leases I have handled over the years with less than 1% being a bad ending (which is quite good in fact).
Let me start by saying that I am happy to have the "Tenant from Heaven" to call my own. Hard working, honest, family man that has been wonderful to have living in my basement apartment.
Unfortunately, it wasn't always like that. I will say that I have been defrauded ONCE personally and ONCE as a professional over the last decade. The first tenant that I ever had was the original "Tenant from hell". This woman did the classic scam on me (before I ever did this for a living) and asked to only pay 1st months rent. Lets just say, when you dont get 1st and last...you are not likely to get anything again.
As a member of TREB, we get alerts like this regularly and although no one can 100% weed out the bad seeds...knowing the right questions to ask and some common scams does help the process.
The article does mention that one of the landlords did use a real estate company to do the rental search but the agent did not require 1st and last to be certified.
This is EXACTLY where no two agents handle rentals the same way. In my dealings, its either first and last certified and in trust OR no deal is made. Postdated chqs or other monthly payment methods are still common although a landlord cannot demand postdated chqs to be provided. Also be sure about what utilitities are included. One acquaintance of mine decide to rent her unit privately but is now losing hundreds of dollars a month as she told them it was ALL INCLUSIVE when it should have been RENT PLUS HEAT AND HYDRO.
If you are thinking of leasing your home OR other property, there are ways you can weed out the weak prospects and attract the "tenants from heaven". Is it a 100% guaranteed process? Is any business without its ups and downs? NO. If you are not used to some of the methods the scam artists or grow house operators use, you may not have any idea. Having taken courses from the board on this, I may be able to offer my expertise.
When my clients hire me to help them, they know that my contingency fee is worth every penny and its only paid when the right tenant is found and, in some cases, the entire amount can be claimed as an expense (check with your accountant for this).