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Old 05-20-2016, 08:13 AM
 
1 posts, read 544 times
Reputation: 10

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Hi everyone!

I am new to this site, so forgive me if I am not posting this in the correct place. My boyfriend and I are trying to find out first apartment, and we think we have found the perfect place on Craigslist, but I am skeptical and think we may be being scammed.

The rent is reasonable for the area, so that did not bring up any red flags. My boyfriend emailed the original poster on Craigslist and she set up a viewing. We HAVE seen the apartment in person, but the woman who met us there was not the same woman my boyfriend spoke to on the phone. The tenant is still living in the apartment, but is supposedly moving out some time in August to move to NYC.

We decided we loved the place and wanted to move on to the next step, so my boyfriend contacted the woman who he originally spoke to and, this is where I start getting paranoid, she said all we have to do is meet her at her office next week and start the paperwork, but that we should bring a check for one months rent to lock the place down, and we will pay the last months rent and security deposit 30 days before moving in. She said "check or money order is preferred and I will accept cash as well." Is this normal? I know a check is standard, but I can't find anything online about paying such a large fee during the application process - especially several months before the actual move in date.

Also I can't find any information about the company that she says she works for - Power House Development. I found ONE thing on Google about them, on "superpages.com", which is just one persons very negative review saying that they are not attentive landlords. I don't really care about that. I just need reassurance that I'm not getting scammed.

Could anyone give me some advice?

Thank you!
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Old 05-20-2016, 09:27 AM
 
883 posts, read 530,206 times
Reputation: 1223
The only advice I can give you is that I've read that Gmail accounts are highly used on Craigslist to scam folks. I don't know why that is, but I'd say if it was a Gmail account, your suspicions may be correct.
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Old 05-20-2016, 09:42 AM
 
Location: Dude...., I'm right here
1,243 posts, read 799,046 times
Reputation: 736
t sounds like you are dealing with a bad landlord rather than a scam. They have an office and will do the paperwork. Paying a deposit to secure the apartment is normal. But only after you've passed the background/credit check. Why are you paying the deposit with the application?

It's better to pay by cash or money order rather than cash. She's already mentioned check or money order are preferred but also gave you the option to pay cash. There is no such thing as check is standard. Some accept bank deposits/transfer too.

With craigslist scammers, you don't get to view the property and they take money upfront. You've viewed the property, gone to their office, have their phone number. Dealing with several people is also fine. It possible they have different employees.

The only thing unusual for me is paying the deposit with the application.
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