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Old 08-28-2015, 11:08 AM
 
1 posts, read 1,496 times
Reputation: 10

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I responded to an ad for an apartment in Ely, Iowa. Halfway between Cedar Rapids, and Iowa City, Iowa.
It was for an apartment 635. a month. The management showed the apt, to us on Saturday, we said we would take it, she gave us the application and said their was a 35.00 fee per person, background checks and such. so we said we will take it, and we went home and filled out application, took the applications back Sunday, along with the 70.00 check. Tuesday I called her to see when we could move in and she said we passed the background check, but the unit has been taken. I said, what... she said the unit was already rented, but she may have one coming open later. I never got my 70.00 back... Is this legal, or fraud?

Last edited by daves2023; 08-28-2015 at 11:10 AM.. Reason: change friday to saturday.
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Old 08-29-2015, 12:45 AM
 
1,181 posts, read 2,679,898 times
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I think it's legal as long as she actually did the back ground checks and us the money for that purpose. But, ethically she should have told you that there were other people she was also checking out. But, if you are uncertain you might want to check with an attorney spoecializing in tenant laws.
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Old 08-29-2015, 07:52 AM
 
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That is the simple action of fraud. Iowa's laws are very friendly to land laws and may have legalized this form of fraud. Since she showed you an apartment and indicated it was available, you have a right to demand the money. Don't be afraid to bring the police into it and to post your review online.
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Old 09-01-2015, 11:34 AM
 
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My guess would be legal. She had other applicants that were more qualified than you. IMHO, it would have been nice of her to indicate that she had other applicants. But I don't think it's a requirement.
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Old 09-01-2015, 12:53 PM
 
Location: Sioux Falls, SD area
3,412 posts, read 4,884,814 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lurtsman View Post
That is the simple action of fraud. Iowa's laws are very friendly to land laws and may have legalized this form of fraud. Since she showed you an apartment and indicated it was available, you have a right to demand the money. Don't be afraid to bring the police into it and to post your review online.
In my opinion, she pulled a fast one on you and ripped you off for the $ 70. I'd do what lurtsman said and contact the police. If the apartment was available and you would be the tenant if ALL that was necessary for to rent it to you was the background check, then and only then can I understand the charge.
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Old 09-02-2015, 08:32 AM
 
368 posts, read 350,841 times
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I'd say you will get a better response if you post this in the rental forum. There are a lot of landlords on there who deal with this sort of thing daily. My understanding is that you said you would take it, and they said they would get back to you after a background check. So there was not even a verbal agreement in place.

Background checks cost money. I'd assume they have multiple applicants and selected a tenant that was more qualified than you.
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Old 09-05-2015, 07:57 AM
 
3,492 posts, read 5,149,256 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TWG1572 View Post
I'd say you will get a better response if you post this in the rental forum. There are a lot of landlords on there who deal with this sort of thing daily. My understanding is that you said you would take it, and they said they would get back to you after a background check. So there was not even a verbal agreement in place.

Background checks cost money. I'd assume they have multiple applicants and selected a tenant that was more qualified than you.
They have no business charging more than one tenant and running one background check at once without telling everyone who is behind "potential customer #1" that they already have someone they are considering and that their money may be wasted.
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Old 09-05-2015, 08:04 AM
 
1,614 posts, read 1,288,117 times
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Your state may have a group you can get in touch with called the Omsbudsmen. Call them as they should be able to give you some info. This problem seems to fall into a grey zone.
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