Posted by: Catherine | November 29, 2010

Renters: Beware of Imposter Landlords!


It is scary times out there for local real estate renters!   Whether you’re looking for a home in Concord, Pleasant Hill, Walnut Creek, Concord or Clayton – you need to be careful you don’t fall victim to an ever popular scam popping up all over Craigslist and the internet.

I got a call today from a fellow agent to inform me that one of my condos for sale in Walnut Creek, was now listed by a scammer on craigslist – for rent.   For rent?  Well , this isn’t the first time this has happened.  Craigslist is a haven for scammers and it is really just too bad.  So many look there when looking for homes for sale and most especially, homes for rent.  But BUYER BEWARE. One clue should be the price – most of my listings which have been listed for rent, have been for some ridiculously low amount.  As an example, a 1200 square foot townhome in the Countrywood area of Walnut Creek was for rent for 500.00 a month.  Luckily the scammers put the full address on the listing, and when people drove by they saw my for sale sign.  But some may not be so lucky.  NEVER send money to anyone.  EVER.  Most of my listings are occupied by their owners, so if a person renting a place can’t meet you at the location – be very suspicious.  Google the address and see if it shows up as a for sale listing somewhere else.

And don’t think it only happens on the internet.  There are cases where con artists actually get the locks changed on vacant, foreclosed or abandoned properties – then meet prospective tenants, collect up front fees, and rent and then leave you with nothing.  Be very careful!

Our Department of Real Estate in California recently released a Consumer Alert that you can read at this link:

Beware of Imposter Landlords – it even happens to homes in Walnut Creek, Danville and other “affluent” areas -there are NO boundaries!

The link above has information for renters, and for tenants.  It gives hints and tips on how to protect yourself.  Remember, if you’re told a person is a Realtor, broker or property manager, you can look up their license information at www.DRE.CA.gov.

If you are a tenant, all notices of default or foreclosure (trustee sales) are public record.  Check with the county to see if the home you’re in is in foreclosure.

Tenants involved in foreclosure are particularly vulnerable.  Be careful.  The County records can tell you who the new owner is , and any real estate agent acting on behalf of the bank, should readily identify themselves and post and provide, valuable information about your rights.

Catherine Myers
DRE Lic 01337828

Windermere Bay Area Properties
925-683-2125
Real estate, homes for sale, search homes for free, community information
Walnut Creek, Concord, Clayton, Pleasant Hill, Martinez, Danville, Alamo, San Ramon, Lafayette, Pittsburg, Antioch, Brentwood and surrounding communities.

Short Sales, Resources for Foreclosure Prevention, home retention options


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