Do Rent Thieves Retire? James Regan Looking For New Digs

January 25th, 2018 · 2 Comments · Property Management, Rental Property

This is a letter I received this morning from a friend of the blog about our friend James Regan.

Hi Rachelle,

Hope you are well. Been awhile since I posted any comments or sought your wisdom. But I do enjoy reading your articles and find them very helpful. I did want to let you know of a recent experience (yesterday) while entertaining a prospective Tenant(s), who actually has been profiled by the CBC and how I allegedly almost may have became the next victim. You are probably familiar with the individual and goes by the name James Regan and his cohort uses the name Chris with mobile numbers (647) ***-2309 and (416)***-1484. Hopefully my experience will help some readers steer clear of potential Rent thieves and I will try to explain some of the mistakes I made while speaking to him and his cohort. Remember this guy is a professional and will come across very genuine and articulate and he will try to squeeze personal information out from you to use against you and hopefully gain your trust. He almost had me convinced but he and his cohort did make a mistake and I cancelled the initial meeting and not to mention I was worried about my and my family’s safety.

1.  They will ask if you are a real estate agent or property manager or owner.

I told them owner and I think I might have stated I co-owned with my wife. Their response was “Good! I hate dealing with real estate agents and property managers” I probably should have asked him why? And in reality even though I own, I am still a property manager. So initially it may be best to just state you are a property manager and leave it at that and see how that goes. But this is definitely a red flag now for me.

2. He wanted to know what else we did beside rent and if we had other jobs.

The mistake I made is I did tell him “yes” which is okay but never ever say who you work for or what you do especially who your spouse works for. It is not even important at the pre-preliminary stage. He was so slick he mentioned how he did work for my spouses employer on the insurance side and new the VP etc. Even mentioned a name..How would I know anyways?? Maybe he does, maybe he doesn’t, who gives a shit? But I believed it at that point.

3. He wanted to see the unit and so I told him evenings would work better after 7pm. He wanted to come earlier during the day.

The mistake I made I told him I had children and they have to be picked up from school. What made me cringe later, he had asked me where they went to school. Luckily I didn’t give the school name but just the city. Even that line of questioning makes no sense to me and I should have ended the call. But initially he also did say he was a retired school teacher and now working part time in law (As a tenant being evicted at the LTB?)  so maybe that’s why I didn’t question him on that point. But definitely a predatory question to ask someone you don’t know or even know. My advice keep your family safe at all costs during this process. Do not divulge anything to anyone about your personal life when you are interviewing anyone. Huge red flag here!

4. Next mistake and red flag…He asked me if I ever have had bad Tenants?

I told him “no I have been fortunate” I now realize he was trying to see if I have had any experience with the eviction process and the LTB. Seems like I was being interviewed instead of the other way around! At this point I probably should have just bent over! And I still can’t believe I answered or almost answered some of these questions.

5. I explained the application and process involved and he wanted me to send him the application faxed right away.

I told him to meet first which is also a mistake after all of the above (1-4). There should have been no meeting at all. He also wants to meet across the street in the plaza, suggests Starbucks. I decline and tell him to meet at the security desk in the building. He agrees.

6. He messaged me later and asked for the application again, address and unit number.

Again I gave him the address and unit number but told him again I will bring an application to the meeting. Meeting set for 7pm. I realize I don’t have to give him the unit number, yet until we meet. Especially to someone this adamant. The floor number should be be suffice at the preliminary stage.

7.  I next call to confirm the meeting time with his Cohort, which is scheduled for 7:30 pm, who at this point I believe to be another prospective tenant.

However, in hindsight this guy had a story about why he wanted to move closer to work and save travel time. But when I mapped out the work to home there was no savings in time! This was a red flag!! Anyway, he does not answer or confirm the call. At 5:35 pm I send a text asking him to confirm the meeting and to confirm his employer and where he lives again because I forgot but I mistakenly mention the other fraudsters employer. (the company where he knows the so called VP)

8.  At 5:45 pm I am messaged by F1 that he is meeting a retired lawyer friend at a bar across the street from the condo.

Again to myself “Who gives a shit?” But I quickly check and the bar in question is located somewhere else. I ask him what the lawyers name is and he says Georgina I tell him Georgina retired too early. Now he asks me if I know Georgina? I tell him I know Georgina, Sally and Alana, they are good lawyers.

9. This is where it gets interesting. At 6:41 pm he texts me that his cell phone is dying and he is leaving downtown and will be late and arriving by 7:15 pm. At 6:45 pm I receive a text from  says his cell died and he forgot the address and to resend it.

10. At 7:08 pm asks again for the address. I tell him on Dundas across the street from the bar. At 7:15 pm he messages me he is just leaving Bay station and going westbound. I tell him to enjoy the ride.

11. I contact my current Tenant and the concierge and inform them the the showing is cancelled because the prospects are late and if they show up, tell them the same.

I am thinking they are no shows. At 7:40 pm I receive a voice message from James Regan and he wants to know what’s going on and was informed by security the meeting is cancelled. I did not respond to him yet. All I have to say to that is “No Shit Sherlock it’s cancelled . You are 40 minutes late and wasted my time!” And I have zero recourse! I can’t go to LTB and complain but don’t be surprised if this fraudster tries because he was inconveniently 40 minutes late and tried to manipulate Information out of me.

I have to go back to being more diligent and strict about this process. No more nice guy and no leeway anymore. Like before and it has worked out well for us. And don’t ask me about my kids or my family. I will tell you nicely to take a hike.

What I MUST do…

a) Get a full name right away when you talk to someone on the phone…I just had a first name and a phone number and was unable to properly pre-screen the prospect. I know better than this!! that is why I am kicking myself today!!! I got the last name from the voice message he left me in the evening and as soon as I googled it the CBC article and few others came up.

b) There is also a Facebook page setup which might be fake as well with a picture and some credentials/work experience. The company he claims he worked with that my wife worked for is listed there as well. I found this by google searching his name and that company.

c) Anyone retired from teaching and Ontario Teachers College certified teacher can be searched using the OTC website. I used this last night and I did find one James Regan but the education listed did not match what is listed on the Facebook profile.

Be careful everyone!! Remember “Rent Thieves Don’t Retire” the law doesn’t require them too.

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