Pearl1, Renter in Canyon Country, CA

signed lease move in date supposed to be july 1st but still no keys! so stressed out and frustrated.

Asked by Pearl1, Canyon Country, CA Fri Jul 22, 2011

My fiance and I signed a lease to rent a house. We were supposed to move in July 1st. However turns out the house was in the middle of a transition to a new owner during the time we signed the lease. The real estate agent said (only a few days before the move in date) that the owner forgot to fill out a paper and they had to wait to get that paper back from the IRS. That the IRS had to just sign the paper and send it back. He said hopefully it will come within 2 weeks. 2 weeks passed and still nothing. Now the agent is telling us the paper should've been here by now and it's safe to now say August 1st. That is in less than 10 days. What is going on? Is this allowed? We cannot stay at our current residence after August 1st. I am scared we will have no where to live then. If we signed the lease we can't they just give us the keys and let us move in? What "paper" are they waiting for?

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Even though you didn't pay a security deposit or a 1st month rent yet, I'm sure you gave over a rental application with your SOCIAL SECURITY numbers on it so they could Run your Credit. Maybe that's all this scammer wanted.

I say scammer, because what you're describing does not sound legit at all.

The IRS doesn't really have a say in who property owners rent out their properties too. I don't see why the IRS is involved at all. Even if the owner owed $100K in back taxes the IRS wouldn't hold up the owner from renting out their property. They'd be like "Hey, Awesome, now you're getting some income, pay us part of that!"

I STRONGLY URGE YOU to go to this link: http://www2.dre.ca.gov/PublicASP/pplinfo.asp and put in the Last Name & then First name OR the company name of this "property manager", see if they are Licensed. If they are & this person is NOT the broker, go talk to their broker & state you're going to file a complaint.

The RED FLAG I see in your question is this "However turns out the house was in the middle of a transition to a new owner during the time we signed the lease." -----if this did in fact happen, your lease agreement would have AT FIRST showed one owner as your Landlord, then you would have redone the lease under the name of the New owner.

Did that happen?

If you know any Real Estate attorneys, I suggest you contact them RIGHT NOW & AT THE VERY LEAST have them generate a letter threatening a law suite for your DAMAGE$$ if they don't turn over the key OR a letter from the IRS showing WHY this owner can't lease out his property.....I'd like to see that letter!


EmilyKnell1@yahoo.com
562-430-3053 c
Realtor Since 1996
Main Street Realtors
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 22, 2011
Hi Pearl,

I'm a landlord here in PA. I can't say that I'm following 100% of exactly what your situation is. But ... here's my read on it, and you probably should have a quick chat with a lawyer. I would in your shoes!

>> Also online it says the house was sold 6/15/11. We signed the lease before it was sold.

The contract (lease) that you signed may well be null and void. The "landlord" apparently didn't own the property at the time the lease was signed. However, there COULD be something in there about a contingency for purchase and closing of the house. If there is NOT such a contingency then you should be under no obligation at all.

Not sure what's happening with the IRS and it sound like you aren't really being told the deal. Perhaps there was an IRS lien on the property? And perhaps now he can't get a Certificate of Occupancy (legally rent it out) until he's gotten this.

They seem to be in clear Breach of Contract - as they didn't provide you with the keys on the start date of the lease. This usually means that you can do whatever you want and walk away from it BUT you need to cover your butt and put things in writing.

Please please tell me that they have NONE OF YOUR MONEY? I hope that they don't. I would immediately start on the following:
1. looking for a place to live (I prefer Craigslist for this, Figure out if you can get your stuff into storage and who you might be able to stay with ...

2. Talk to a real estate lawyer so that you know YOUR RIGHTS. Bring your LEASE with you, proof of the "sold date, as well as ANY EMAILs and text messages. Usually the CONTRACT is the contract. No conversations with the leasing agent etc really matter at all.

Talking to the leasing agent - that time is past. Put them behind you. You need to have a DIRECT conversation with your landlord, TODAY. If he wants to keep you then I would make it very clear - and then in writing via email (read receipt) - that the ball is in his court to arrange and provide for short-term housing AND any additional moving expenses and storage fees - all at his expense. All this should be in writing and he would need to get it done asap.

You say that you have been offered "free Aug rent" and "waiving of the security deposit". Has this been put in writing to you? No? Gosh I'm shocked! See where I'm going with this?

The time for phone conversations and other niceties and assorted pleasantries is now behind you. I truly wish you the best of luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 25, 2011
This has Red Flag written all over it! You need to protect yourself and find another rental. The fact you signed a lease agreement BEFORE it sold and now there is a new owner on the property raises many questions. You need to find out who exactly is renting this property to you and cross-check that information with a Title Search, which any local agent can do for you. This sounds like a jumbled mess and something you might want to steer clear from. There are many scams out there in this market and it breaks my heart to hear about people getting caught up in the mess. There is no reason whatsoever the IRS should have any effect on a house rental. You might be better off hiring an agent to help you find rental property, as we have checks and balances to ensure renters aren't getting themselves into something that's not on the Up and Up. Proceed with caution. If it smells bad then it probably is.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 25, 2011
Pearl, on the lease there should've been a move-in date listed. Which date is stated on the lease? I would also carefully review the lease to see if the seller has not been performing his or her agreed-to duties (perhaps the move-in date), which would then give you an opportunity to cancel. I know you really like this house, but to protect yourselves from being out of options, I would go see what else is out there so you have a backup plan in case this does not work out. Good luck & sending well wishes.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 22, 2011
Hi Emily.

I just looked in that data base and did find the agent in there. He is licensed but the license type does not say BROKER. He did mention maybe 1-2 weeks ago over the phone that as soon as they "get that paper" then we can meet up and and resign the lease. I have been so stressed in frustrated I guess I haven't been asking him the right questions.

You have given me a lot of information. I am going to speak to my fiance and see what we can get brewing. I will keep you all updated.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 22, 2011
Sorry for my couple of spelling errors, my fingers start typing too fast.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 22, 2011
Pierre - I have not paid anything yet for this new house. And I agree I should've been told it was in transition. I honestly think the lease was signed under the previous owner. I will have to check on that. I think it's time now to demand some real answers and not allow this leasing agent to bs me anymore. I know he said August 1st now but I cannot trust that when this whole time he's been given me different dates.

I just don't understand why they would want to delay the move or offer me the 1st month off and no security deposit if it was a scam. They haven't collected anything other than an app fee from me. I will find out more info because yes I am running out of time.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 22, 2011
It looks to me that these papers are just a delaying tactic. I don't see what the IRS has to do with you moving in.
First you should have been told that the house was being sold before you signed the lease. What if the new owner wanted to keep the house for himself? If you signed the lease with the previous owner, read the lease. The new owner may have to honor the lease, depending on the language. Have you paid rent and deposit at this point, and to whom? It looks like you are being taken for a ride.

Pierre / Broker
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 22, 2011
Gerard & Jessica- Yes def needs to be more diligent. The solution to our issue was waived sec dep & 1st month free. We've already extended our stay at our current residence for 1 month. We will not be able to stay here any longer. I've already questioned whether or not I should look for a new place but the house we found is perfect. Size, price and location. I even like the agent who leased us the house but this issue is making me have second thoughts about him. My main concern is how the process works.

The agent leased us a house, then the house sold, then our move in date came, then a paper wasnt received from the IRS yet and now supposedly all we are waiting on is that paper. Once that paper from the irs comes back we can move in. We speak to the agent at least once a week and all he says is "i have no updates just still waiting on that paper to come back and then we're all set."

what type of papers could be holding this up?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 22, 2011
Hi Pearl,

You have signed a two-year lease, but you have not paid a security deposit or any rent correct?

Can you get an extension to stay from your current landlord? Has the new owner of the rental house been in contact with you recently? Maybe you need to cancel this lease and look for another place. I hope it all works out for you.

Sincerely,

Jessica M. Acker
Wellman Realty Company
Wellman Property Management, Inc.
1415 Stanford St., Suite #4| Santa Monica, CA 90404
Direct: (310) 828 - 3132 Fax: (310) 829 – 2079
Email: Jessica@wellmanproperties.com | Web: http://www.wellmanproperties.com
DRE #01894323
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 22, 2011
Well It seems that your Agent needs to be more diligent! Ask for some restitution for the trouble it caused you, Allow the move in now and not charge for the rest of this month and start your first month on August first!
As far as your 2 year lease, that is in breech as you read, so tell them be kind or you will not sign a new lease!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 22, 2011
Also online it says the house was sold 6/15/11. We signed the lease before it was sold.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 22, 2011
Hi Ron. The leasing agent is actually friends with one of my really close friends. We were talking to our friend about wanting to rent and not finding the right place and referred us to his friend, the agent.

Because of this whole fiasco the leasing agent said the owner will give us the 1st month free and we don't have to pay a sec deposit. We signed the lease for 2 years. But does what I described not sound normal or even make sense? Shouldn't the leasing agent be able to tell me more info and put a rush on this paper?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 22, 2011
If this was with anyone but the Agent, I would say it was a SCAM>

How do you know that he was the Agent?
Check with the local MLS and see if he really is a Realtor.
You might want to talk to the local FRAUD unit, you're rrunning out of time.

Good luck and may God bless
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 22, 2011
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