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Old 11-28-2010, 06:35 PM
 
1 posts, read 9,684 times
Reputation: 12

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I found a home I want to rent. The owner use to live in the house and now lives overseas.

My source of worry is what safeguards do I have to ensure I get my deposit back? I do not think I can sue a foreigner in small-claims court.

A friend of the owner is showing the house; so it is not a professional property manager.

Does anyone have any experience or insight?
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Old 11-28-2010, 07:13 PM
 
28,115 posts, read 63,655,590 times
Reputation: 23268
Quote:
Originally Posted by ebro View Post
I found a home I want to rent. The owner use to live in the house and now lives overseas.

My source of worry is what safeguards do I have to ensure I get my deposit back? I do not think I can sue a foreigner in small-claims court.

A friend of the owner is showing the house; so it is not a professional property manager.

Does anyone have any experience or insight?
It is a valid point... I believe you can sue... but how would you collect?

It is possible to set up an Escrow Account to hold the money... it will then take approval by both parties to release funds or a court order.

How does the friend propose to handle repairs and maintenance?

Be careful... there is a scam going around cheating would be tenants out of first month and deposit money on property that is in foreclosure or bank owned.

Might want to confirm ownership through the county.
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Old 11-28-2010, 07:34 PM
 
27,214 posts, read 46,733,632 times
Reputation: 15667
I would say " keep searching"..

I was an overseas owner but we had a property management company taking care of our home overseas.

You better make sure that the owner is even a legitimate owner. We recently had people arrested in Florida who claimed the owner was out of State and they were illegally renting homes that were foreclosed on......
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Old 11-28-2010, 09:39 PM
 
Location: The Greater Houston Metro Area
9,053 posts, read 17,194,811 times
Reputation: 15226
This sounds like a scam going around. The owner professes to be overseas. They collect a deposit and first month's rent and SURPRISE they don't own the house but they have your money.

Go through a realtor - it doesn't cost you a dime.
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Old 11-28-2010, 09:49 PM
 
Location: NJ
17,573 posts, read 46,134,620 times
Reputation: 16273
I would raise the concern with the LL. If they were willing to set up an escrow account for the deposit (which some states require anyway) I would walk away. And maybe it's just too complicated anyway and not worth the hassle.

As others have said, how do you know they are going to make any repairs that are necessary?
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Old 11-28-2010, 10:05 PM
 
1,595 posts, read 2,763,786 times
Reputation: 849
I personally would not rent it because I think, most likely, if you file for your security deposit due to the landlord not returning it then you will have to file in court where the landlord lives. The court case must be held where the Defendant lives. Double check me on that I could be wrong. It could be the case, if any should arise, must be held in where the rental unit is located.
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Old 11-29-2010, 04:17 PM
 
27,214 posts, read 46,733,632 times
Reputation: 15667
Quote:
Originally Posted by manderly6 View Post
I would raise the concern with the LL. If they were willing to set up an escrow account for the deposit (which some states require anyway) I would walk away. And maybe it's just too complicated anyway and not worth the hassle.

As others have said, how do you know they are going to make any repairs that are necessary?
I don't agree with you on a different issue. Mostly when you file in small claims court you have to file in the County/State where the deal took place or the contract was signed or the item was sold. Not where the owner lives....since the property is part of the deal you file in the County where the property and the contract is signed...BUT I would never deal with a deal like this, which sounds like a scam.
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Old 11-29-2010, 04:38 PM
 
4,399 posts, read 10,668,610 times
Reputation: 2383
Quote:
Originally Posted by ebro View Post
I found a home I want to rent. The owner use to live in the house and now lives overseas.

My source of worry is what safeguards do I have to ensure I get my deposit back? I do not think I can sue a foreigner in small-claims court.

A friend of the owner is showing the house; so it is not a professional property manager.

Does anyone have any experience or insight?
I would pass...its possible you can sue them but you need to do due dilegence and its probably easier to find a domestic landlord. If you are really interested read beow.
You can sue them if they are a US citizen, and the case would be heard in US court...However the problem would be serving them. Depending on the requirements you would have to locate them and hire someone to serve them overseas(I'm not even sure if this would be valid). Does your state allow you to serve the persons spouse(does he have on in the US?) If you can serve by mail or serve the spouse (don't know if you can in your state, or any state for that matter) I don't think it would be a problem suing them and if they have assets in the US collecting either. You could also file discovery hearings if you get a judgement over and over again until they got tired of traveling in between nations to attend.
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Old 11-29-2010, 09:17 PM
 
Location: Australia
45 posts, read 144,193 times
Reputation: 35
Everyone should be aware that because the US property prices have fallen through the floor, more and more overseas investors are snapping up US properties as bargains.

Americans are going to be having Australian, Chinese, British etc as their landlords and need to get used to the idea and deal with it.

Anyway, that does not mean that you will get a bad deal if something goes wrong.
Because many of investors will be residing overseas, I should think that most of them will be using Property Managers who will oversee repairs and deposits etc.
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