A few things from my week...
As some of my clients, friends and family know, I not only work with buyers and sellers of residential real estate in my capacity as a real estate agent, I also hold my commercial, agricultural and property management licenses. This brings me to the subject of this weeks blog. I am also the showing/inspecting agent for my brokerages' property management division and over the last couple weeks I have had 2 prospective renters tell me the exact same horror story. These young couples, both moving in from another city, called a kijiji ad for a rental then met with the owner who still lives in the property. This owner seemed legit, she had all the paperwork needed, showed them the home and then showed them her ID. She had the tenant sign the tenancy agreement and pay first months rent and security deposit. As many people know, rent in Grande Prairie is not cheap, many of these people are using all the cash they have to secure a home. Well, after money is given, the tenants go on their way to organize everything they need to in order to move in. Later the owner calls and states that she is very sorry but she can no longer rent it to them and she no longer has any of their money. After the tenant threatens to call the police, the owner states she will meet them at a later time to give them their money back. According to the first couple, the police informed them that there were already 7 complaints against this woman.
There is always an argument for home buyers and sellers to use a licenced real estate agent when buying or selling their home for many reasons, we are insured, educated, follow a strict code of ethics and code of conduct as well as they have recourse through the complaints department of RECA. This also applies to renters and landlords. There are several licenced property management firms in Grande Prairie and I urge prospective renters to be very careful when renting a home not through one of these companies. I hope that this blog saves someone from the devastation of losing what could be thousands in one of these all too common rental scams.
Till next week! See you soon.