Since posting an article about Craiglist apartment listing scams a month ago, we’ve heard from lots of people who fell for the scam. If you’re one of them, here’s what you need to know.
Apartment scams are the new hotness. Can’t do housing scams anymore because no one can afford a house, so it’s on to rentals. Insert “Merce,” a guy is ripping off renters saying he’s got the “homeboy hookup” and can get them into a rental cheap and with free gas an electricity, but he doesn’t actually own the properties. Fox NY investigates in this video.
The Illinois attorney general’s office has filed suit against a Chicago-based rental property listing service for allegedly “charging consumers a membership fee for access to a property database populated largely with fraudulent or outdated rental listings.”
The wireless Internet connection at Ari’s new apartment isn’t very useful. Neither is his landlord, or the support tech who’s supposed to troubleshoot this kind of stuff.
Rouzbeh has tried six times to sign up for AT&T’s U-verse service, but each time AT&T cancels his installation request because they don’t believe his apartment exists. Nevermind the small details like the DSL service AT&T provides him, or the $287 bill they insisted he pay after they accidentally sent two modems to his apartment along with a charge for three months of service.
Debbie Eckert cleaned out her son’s apartment after he died in a February fight, but the landlord, CCRT Properties of Brookfield Wisconsin, thinks she should pay several months rent and an early termination fee. The Wisconsin Department of Consumer Protection says that CCRT can pursue the 24-year-old teacher’s estate, but that they have no right to heartlessly badger his mother.
David sent us the following alleged apartment for rent listing from CraigsList. It’s a shame—I would be more than willing to wear the ID bracelet at all times and submit to unannounced inspections, but that yard is too small to do my prison workout in.
Last week, we wrote about Sam’s surprising discovery that his apartment complex was to be converted into a “European style” nudieland. The apartment complex apparently hadn’t notified its tenants, and Sam learned about it from a newspaper. Last weekend, Sam wrote in with an update.
Reader Sam writes in to let us know that his apartment complex is being converted into a “clothing optional” paradise. Tenants of The Arbors at Branch Creek, you are now the hedonistic residents of Eden!
Listen, we know gas costs more than $4 a gallon, and may go even higher, but that doesn’t mean you should start stockpiling gas. Two Dartmouth natives learned this the hard way when the 45-gallons of gas they were hoarding in nine plastic jugs ignited, nearly burning down their eight-unit apartment complex.
This morning, WKOW in Madison, Wisconsin, reported that Wisconsin Management Company had refused to let a University of Wisconsin student out of a lease a year and a half early. What was surprising about the story was that the man had found his fiancée murdered in the apartment last week. Even worse, the company wouldn’t confirm that it would replace the carpet or re-paint the walls until it had completed “further investigation” of the situation. Before we posted the story this evening, the management company had posted a press release on its website saying the whole thing was a misunderstanding and the lease has been dissolved. Download the press release here (PDF), or read it below.
How do you get your landlord to require the upstairs neighbors to put down carpets? A lawyer who “has practiced in the landlord-tenant arena for more than two decades” has been answering these sorts of questions on the New York Times’ “City Room” blog. The advice he gives, while helpful and specific, is mostly based on what we imagine are NYC-specific problems and cites New York statutes, but it still might be helpful for renters elsewhere with similar problems.
Do you love big city livin’, but you’re tired of spending 65% of your monthly salary on a 45-year-old studio apartment with a bathroom that feels like it was transplanted from an RV? (Yeah, we’re talking about NYC.) BusinessWeek lists the results of a recent survey of rental prices in cities with populations larger than one million. The best deal is (drum roll): Oklahoma City, with an average rent of $520 a month!
Restoring an apartment can be easy, if done methodically. Thankfully, wikiHow has a useful room-by-room guide to help get your apartment spick-and-span.
It’s that time of year: With the budding trees comes a feeling of optimism coupled with intense cabin fever. The result? Apartment hunting.
•If all else fails, make the fine print work for you. Loopholes may allow a penalty-free escape from disappointing properties. — CAREY GREENBERG-BERGER
Despite being a broke fool who let his landlord auto-deduct from his bank account, Mike was able to get all his money back from his landlord, using two of consumers most important tools: persistence, and sheer force of will.