Some victims of the alleged scam tell the Philadelphia Daily News they paid $21,000 for a full-season rental in Wildwood, NJ, a favorite destination point for recent high school grads in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
When some of the renters went to check out the place on Memorial Day weekend, they found evidence that the landlord had been crashing there, including food in the cabinets, clothes strewn about the place… and two newborn kittens on the kitchen floor.
The young women who had rented the place describe the condition of the property as “disgusting and frankly unlivable,” and they weren’t alone in that opinion, as the police later slapped the property with violations and deemed it uninhabitable.
Meanwhile, the landlord tells the Daily News that this is all just a matter of “perception,” because he apparently doesn’t know what that word means.
Complicating matters is that the “landlord” doesn’t own all the properties he’s renting out in the area. Some of the rental homes he’s advertising are properties he’s renting and subletting. Prosecutors say that at least one of them is a bank-owned property.
In addition to lawsuits — like the one filed on behalf of renters who lost $14,622 when they were bumped from a summer rental that the landlord didn’t own — the man has been arrested and charged with theft by deception. Authorities say he collected $75,000 worth of rent for properties he didn’t own or for properties that renters couldn’t access or inhabit.