Toronto police warn of rental scam at infamous Toronto ICE condos
Looking to rent a spot in the famous ICE Condominium complex in downtown Toronto? Good luck, my friend – You are an exceptionally courageous person, if not naive or stupid.
But be forewarned: moving into the towers that frightened residents are clamoring to get out of comes with its own set of dangers that have nothing to do with bloody elevators or Airbnb parties.
These addresses, while conveniently located for tourists within walking distance of Rogers Center in Toronto’s South Core neighborhood, are the two-tower residential complex that has made headlines in recent years for its high volume of ” ghost hotels “, frequent shootings and other disturbing events.
Police warned in a statement on Friday afternoon that a rental scam involving the site had taken place, although ICE was not alone in this regard.
Public Safety Alert, Rental Fraud Scams https://t.co/kZ2FG3RwXp
– Toronto Police (@TorontoPolice) October 1, 2021
According to TPS, rental listings are placed on Kijiji for rental units located at 12 and 14 York Street.
“The suspect and the victim correspond by phone and text to discuss the property. The suspect meets the victim at the rental location,” the statement said. “The victim is shown a property and the suspect acts as the owner’s agent.”
But – twist! – the suspect is in fact a short-term tenant who has reserved the unit temporarily only to gain access to the property.
“The victim signs what she thinks is a valid rental agreement, then sends a bond via an electronic money transfer. Once the money transfer is received, the suspect no longer returns calls or messages and blocks the victim’s phone number, “the police warned.
“The suspect uses a variety of names when advertising as a rental agent or property owner.”
– blogTO (@blogTO) February 17, 2021
Short-term tenants have been causing headaches (and sometimes worse) to actual residents of ICE condos for years, according to the people who live there.
Management has vowed to crack down on the issue, but residents who have spoken to blogTO in recent months say Airbnb revelers continue to terrorize the resort.
“Currently, less than 10% of units are registered for short-term rentals”, wrote the board of directors of the condominium in a statement released last month.
“We continue to discourage non-compliant short-term rentals with ongoing monitoring, access control, a reward program for people who report illegitimate hosts and mutual cooperation with the City of Toronto.
Whatever steps they take, they don’t seem to have stopped ghost hotel users from doing shady things (like, you know, running rental scams, in the building.)
In light of the scam, Toronto police are warning all members of the public that they should “make sure to sign any rental agreement and / or send deposits” and only “rent through legitimate agents who can be carefully verified”.