Two Prospect Street – 2 Prospect St-Mark March – Two Prospect Street – 2 Prospect St – Mark March apartment rental scam renters house hunters beware
This is an extremely vicious and cunning scam.
The main reason for this is because it is technically legal and can leave house or apartment hunters penniless, without any legal recourse and without a roof!
How does it work? It’s terrifyingly efficient and childishly simple… As many of us know, a tenancy agreement doesn’t have any prescribed legal format. Technically, a tenancy agreement can be anything with your details and signature on it.
If you are hunting for an apartment in a big city like Toronto, you are more likely than not looking for that deal, that hidden gem, that lovely Victorian apartment filled with original period feature that just needs a coat of paint to become the perfect bargain you couldn’t get for the love of the money.
As a result, many will just drive around, looking out for that For Rent sign on a front lawn. Then you see it, you dial the number and a man’s voice informs you that you can see the flat straight away.
There it is. The superintendant opens the door and uncovers an unbelievable 2 bedroom Victorian flat, complete with hard wood floors, claw foot bath tub, crown moldings and solid mahogany doors. It’s a bit rough, but it has double glazing and everything works the way it should. It’s not cheap, but, in that price range, it makes everything else pale off in comparison.
Now, here comes the science bit, so concentrate:
To get the flat, the superintendant informs you that the owner is a very busy man who can’t be contacted. His name is a very long foreign name, so he just goes by the name of March. Yet, he has conveniently left a pile of application forms for you to fill and sign.
The application process also requires a cheque for the value of the first month of rent. This is unorthodox, but the superintendant assures you that the cheque is just a caution that will be handed back should you change your mind or the application prove unsuccessful. You could wait to talk to Mr March, but he is busy and garantees to process the application within 48 hours… And the flat is such a steal you have to grab it while you can.
Of course, less than 48 hours later, your cheque has been cashed, Mr March (sic) is unreachable or cannot speak with you, you have no tenancy agreement and, of course, if you have been foolish enough sign a contract with another landlord in the meantime, no flat.
When, at long last, you have finaly made contact to Mr March, he will bluntly tell you that you are welcome to attempt sueing him if you like. Clearly, Mr March isn’t his real name. Two Prospect Street Inc isn’t to be found anywhere, so who are you going to sue?
The beauty of the scam is that, admitting that you could get your hands on the ellusive Mr March, he could still produce the application form. It has your name, bank details, referees contact details and signature on it… Technically, that’s your tenancy agreement.
Imagine you have signed a contract for another flat in the meantime (why shouldn’t you, it was just an “application”, wasn’t it?) you are still stuck with Mr March’s flat… Unless you can afford double rent.
By the time you get to court, if you are really prepared to spend several thousands on getting back around $900, the first month of rent is, of course, long past, so don’t even dream that you’ll get to spend even a day in the flat you are technically renting… Renting is one thing. Occupying the premises is another.
For all you know, Mr March (sic) could be collecting cheques from several hundred people for who knows how many properties, cash them all in one go and be drinking daikiris by the pool in Cancun before you can say scamster. A few months later, a Mr April, May or June may be renting out properties in Montreal, Vancouver, you name it, in complete impunity.
Thankfully, it is as easy to avoid this scam as it is to become another victim of it:
-Always ask to meet the landlord and make sure that you know his real and full name. A tenancy is a legally binding contract. Also, you have as much right to meet who your money is going to as he should know who he is taking it from. Do not trust a third party, such as friend or relative of the landlord, superintendant, etc, etc.
-If possible, try to meet other tenants. It is always important to hear what others have to say about a given flat, landlord and way of conducting business.
-If you are dealing with a company rather than a private landlord, then you have the right to know what the company is and what it does.
-Do not let yourself get pushed into closing a deal there and then. Although you may be required to give personal informations, do not sign anything unless you are entirely satisfied with the terms and conditions of the tenancy.
-Do not, under any circumstances, part with any money, cheque, etc, unless you have agreed to a tenancy contract and you have the keys to the flat!!! You have the right to have a document stating when the tenancy starts and what it entails.
-Last but not least, trust your instinct. If you feel you are getting pushed around, if anything seems fishy, if you feel your Spidey sense tingling at any moment, get out.
Renting a flat or apartment isn’t just about finding a temporary shelter from the elements, it is also about having a relationship with its owners and knowing that you can rely on and trust them. There are MANY apartments out there and the overwhelming majority of landlords are honnest, law abiding people to whom a relyable, regular income an customer satisfaction are more important than getting as much from you as possible in the shortest possible length of time.
Please feel free to add to this or contact me if you have any question or comments about this.
Additional information about this complaint about Two Prospect Street – 2 Prospect St-Mark March may be obtained from the author. The author has the choice of leaving additional contact information and further identifying the person or company complained of. If the author provided the information, it could be found below:
Author: Contact with Author
Offender: Two Prospect Street – 2 Prospect St-Mark March
Country: Canada State: Ontario City: Toronto
Address: 2, Prospect St
Category: Construction & Repair