Maybe all those reports about the rental market getting tighter and tighter were true. In fact, the market is getting so tight, people are paying thousands to rent places that aren’t even available!
Imagine checking on a vacant rental house you own, only to find a family you don’t know living there.
It happened this week to a King County man. But the people who were living on his property insist they paid another man they thought was the owner nearly $6,000 to move in.
Mike and Lia Lester claim that they and another couple rented the house after seeing an ad on the Craigslist web site.
They met a man they thought was the owner of the house and paid him $5,700 in rent and security deposits and he gave them the keys to the home.
Now, they say they’ve been scammed.
Sean Stewart doesn’t know who they paid — but it wasn’t him. Stewart owns the house and he’s never met the Lester’s.
“I feel sorry for anyone who gets screwed like this,” he said. “There’s no doubt about that.”
The problem is Stewart has other renters moving in next week, so he says the Lesters have to go.
Doh. Seriously though, that would really suck. How would you even protect yourself from a scam like this? Demand to see the title to the property before moving in?
Of course, if the Lesters had just gotten on the equity escalator, they wouldn’t have put themselves into such a vulerable situation to begin with.
(KOMO Staff, KOMO, 10.28.2006)