Question Details

Kyle Hudson, Renter in San Francisco, CA

A landlord is asking for a very big deposit to reserve an apartment and has since gone from trulia what shall we do?

Asked by Kyle Hudson, San Francisco, CA Mon Feb 6, 2012

A very nice place, landlord says there is a couple occupying for another month but if we put down five thousand it will be reserved for us. Also we will like the place, he assured us, if not we'll immediately get our money back. Does this sound legit? It's a lot of money to part with and they have taken the add from Trulia it seems, and is it worth the risk of going through small claims court worst case senario for refund for a lovely place? Is this common procedure?

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Scams do exit therefore always proceed with caution; always verify ownership before exchanging any money/personal information, by checking local public records, tax records, ask any local agent, etc.; thereafter ask for forms of identification; never wire money upfront, never agree to rent without seeing the unit first, etc.; also see link below for helpful information...
http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2009/05/rentalscam.shtm
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 7, 2012
Kyle,

There are "red flags" here and you should obviously not proceed without sound information as to the legitimacy of this offering. There is nothing wrong with requesting that the landlord provide proof of ownership(several points) prior to making a commitment. Photo ID, tax records, and bills that contain his name and the rental address may help reassure you.

Proceed with caution........

Bill
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 7, 2012
It's a scam.

Your worst case scenario isn't going through small claims court and recovering your money. Worst case scenario is not even being able to find the so-called landlord.

Scam.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 6, 2012
Don Tepper, Real Estate Pro in Burke, VA
MVP'08
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This sounds like"BEWARE". Please know that most landlords will require first , last & security deposit once you have signed a lease agreement with terms and conditions of rent. But to give up $5,000 to hold for another month doesn't sound ligitimate to me. Do you have anything in writing?. It also sounds like you have not viewed the rental apartment and that you are taking his word that this is a nice place. Please "consumer beware "means just that! If anything consult with a legal professional, but as a real estate agent this seems very suspect!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 6, 2012
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