What is RentalScams.org?

January 22, 2009 at 4:43 pm | Posted in Rental Scams | 3 Comments

Our mission is to educate renters, property managers, agents and owners on the many different types of rental scams that are on the internet today.

The only way to defeat scammers is by eliminating their economic incentives to continue scamming. We feel, through education, we can accomplish this goal.

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  1. Here is a lease agreement I got for a pace in SF that was too good to be true…

    SCAM ********************

    Rental Agreement
    THIS AGREEMENT made by and between Marcus Werner(herein after called “Owner”) and Benjamin C Headrick, 2555
    Market St, San Francisco, CA 94114, USA (herein after called “Tenant”). The masculine singular pronoun shall be used
    throughout this Agreement, regardless of the sex or number of parties.
    1. RENTAL PREMISES: Owner, in consideration of the rents to be paid and covenants to be performed by
    Tenant hereunder, hereby rents to Tenant for the Term and subject to the covenants and conditions herein
    after set forth, the following described premises (herein after called the “premises”): 625 Taylor St, San
    Francisco, CA 94102, USA, together with all improvements thereon, all privileges,
    appurtenances, easements and all fixtures presently situated in said building, including appliances. The
    tenant will also receive access to 2 personal parking spaces.
    2. TERM: The term of this Agreement shall be 12 months beginning on the 1st day of February, 2009, and
    ending on the last day of 30th January, 2010.
    3. RENT: Tenant will pay Owner each month during the first year of this Agreement this agreement $1,000 as
    rent for the premises plus the sum of $0 as water, and $0 for tenants insurance, so that Tenant’s total
    monthly payment shall be $1,000 during the first year of this Agreement. Tenant shall receive a discount of
    $1,000 if the rent is paid for 6 months in advance, for prompt payment in accordance with paragraph 7
    herein. The monthly rent payment shall increase the beginning of each year after the first year at a rate no
    less than the percent change from the previous 12 months in the Consumer Price Index (CPI-U) of the U.S.
    Department of Labor. Each payment shall be due on or before the first day of each month, between the
    hours of 9 AM and 5:30 PM. If the payment is not received by the owner by 5:30 PM on the fourth day of
    the month a late charge of five percent (5%) will also be due. Payment shall be made to Marcus Werner, 100
    Shoreditch High Street, London E16JB, UK by Western Union wire transfer. Payments sent two days
    prior to the end of the month will be considered received on the first.
    4. SECURITY DEPOSIT: Simultaneous with the execution of this Agreement, Tenant shall also deposit the
    sum of $1,000 with Owner as a security deposit. Said deposit shall serve as security for the faithful
    performance of this Agreement, including the repair and maintenance obligations set forth in Paragraph 7
    herein, and all other obligations imposed on tenants by all applicable landlord-tenant legislation. Within
    thirty days after the termination of this Agreement, the security deposit or that portion thereof to which
    Tenant is entitled shall be returned to Tenant.
    5. USE OF THE PREMISES: Tenant covenants that he shall not commit or suffer any waste in the premises,
    use the premises or permit them to be used for drugs or any unlawful purpose or any dangerous, noxious or
    offensive activity or cause or maintain any nuisance in the premises, nor operate a business for which the
    property is not zoned. At the end of the term of this Agreement, Tenant will deliver up the premises in as
    good an order and condition as they now are, or may be put by Owner or Tenant, reasonable use and
    ordinary wear and tear thereof and damage by fire or other casualty, excepted.
    6. UTILITIES: Owner is responsible for paying for all water, sewage, fuel and electric current and trash
    removal which may not be charged against said premises. Owner shall notify the appropriate Gas &
    Electric Companys that tenant will be occupying the property on the beginning date of this agreement.
    7. REPAIRS AND MAINTENANCE: Tenant agrees to maintain the lawn, remove snow, repair and/or
    replace any and all facilities related to the premises, to provide ordinary and customary preventive
    maintenance, and to maintain the building in good to excellent condition throughout the Term of this
    Agreement. This includes all walks, drives, electrical, plumbing, bath and kitchen fixtures, appliances,
    roofing, painting, lawn, landscaping, and all other exterior and interior items. The costs of such
    maintenance and repairs shall be allocated as follows:
    8. The cost of repairs, maintenance and improvements, shall be paid by Tenant and deducted from the
    monthly rent due to owner.
    9. Not withstanding the above, the cost of all repairs required as a result of negligence by Tenant or his guests
    shall be paid in full by Tenant.
    10. Tenant may only make improvements or modifications to the property upon written approval of the Owner.
    Any unapproved improvements or modifications to the property must be removed at Tenant’s expense
    within seven (14) days of written notice to Tenant by Owner.
    11. Owner shall have the right to inspect the premises at any time, upon 24 hour notice to Tenant, unless such
    entry is required for emergency repairs in the absence of the Tenant. Should it be determined that any of the
    above conditions are not being met, written notice will be given to the Tenant to make the necessary
    changes. If the changes are not made within a reasonable time, Owner shall have the option of making the
    changes and/or canceling the Agreement.
    12. REAL ESTATE TAXES: Owner shall pay all real estate taxes and assessments levied against the premises
    during the Term of this Agreement.
    13. OWNER’S REMEDIES ON DEFAULT: If default shall at any time be made by the Tenant in the payment
    of the installments of rent or in the performance of any of the covenants and agreements herein contained,
    or in the performance of any duties imposed on tenants by any applicable landlord tenant legislation, or if
    Tenant shall be declared bankrupt or make a general assignment for the benefit of creditors, or have a
    receiver appointed for him, then in each and every such event, it shall be lawful for Owner, at its election,
    at any time thereafter, without any demand or notice and without declaring the said term ended as it may
    see fit, to re-enter the demised premises and each and every part thereof either with or without process of
    law, and to expel, remove and put out the said Tenant and every other person occupying in or upon the
    same, use such force as may be necessary in so doing and again to repossess and enjoy the demised
    premises without the termination of possession (should the Owner elect not to terminate the term) or
    reentry working a forfeiture of the rent to be paid by the Tenant or the covenants to be performed by the
    Tenant during the full original term of this Agreement. In the event of the termination of possession for any
    of the causes set forth in the above paragraph, the Owner may re-let the demised premises and the Tenant
    shall continue to be and remain liable for the difference between the rents, utilities and other payments
    which would have been payable by the Tenant during the balance of the term of this Agreement if said
    Agreement had remained in full force and effect and the net rental for the balance of the term realized by
    the Owner upon re-letting in good faith to other parties, and the Tenant shall pay the amount thereof to the
    Owner during the balance of the original term. The Tenant agrees that such rent shall be determined by
    deducting from the entire rent received upon such re-letting, the expense, if any, incurred in good faith by
    the Owner for necessary repair in connection with the demised premises or by reason of the breach of any
    of the terms, covenants and conditions of this Agreement, and all expense reasonably incurred in
    recovering possession of the demised premises, including all costs and commission of such re-letting and
    all attorneys’ fees in connection with such terminating, recovering possession and re-letting of the demised
    premises.
    14. QUIET ENJOYMENT: Owner agrees that if Tenant pays the rents and keeps and performs the covenants
    of this Agreement on the part of Tenant to be kept and performed, Tenant will peaceably and quietly hold
    the premises during the term hereof without any hindrance, ejection or molestation by Owner or any person
    lawfully claiming under Owner.
    15. LIABILITY: Tenant agrees that Owner and its employees and agents shall not be liable to Tenant for any
    damage to or loss of personal property located in the premises or for injuries to persons occurring in the
    premises.
    16. HOLD HARMLESS AGREEMENT: Tenant shall protect, save and keep the Owner harmless and
    indemnified against any and all liability, loss, cost, damages, or expenses arising out of any accident or
    other occurrence on the demised premises, causing death, injury or damage to any person or property due to any act or
    neglect of the Tenant, its agents, employees, assigns, invites or licensees, or due to any failure of the
    Tenant, its agents, employees, assignees, invites or licensees to comply with and perform any of the requirements and
    provisions of this Agreement on their part to be performed.
    17. PUBLIC LIABILITY INSURANCE: Tenant agrees that it will, at its sole expense, maintain valid and
    enforceable policies issued by insurers of recognized responsibility, naming Owner as an additional
    insured, a Renters’ general liability insurance policy providing for claims for bodily injury or death and
    property damage occurring upon or about the demised premises and the adjoining streets and passageways,
    such insurance to afford protection to a limit of not less than Three Hundred Thousand ($300,000.00)
    Dollars with respect to bodily injury or death to any number of persons in any one accident, and not less
    than twenty-five Thousand ($25,000.00) Dollars with respect to damage of the property with respect to
    damage to property of any persons in any one accident. Said policy shall insurance Tenants personal
    property in an amount to be determined by the Tenant, as the Owners insurance does not cover the personal
    property or liability of the Tenant. Such policies shall provide that they shall not be canceled without at
    least ten (10) days prior written notice to the Owner and certificates of said coverage shall be furnished to
    the Owner.
    18. HOLDING OVER: In the event Tenant remains in possession of the premises after the term of this
    Agreement has expired, Tenant shall be deemed a tenant from month to month only, at a new monthly
    rental payment plus estimated water, insurance and trash prepayments, and governed in all other things
    except as to the duration of this Agreement.
    19. ASSIGNING AND SUBLETTING: Tenant will not, without written consent obtained from Owner, sell,
    assign, mortgage or deliver this Agreement or the premises in whole or in part or sublet all or part of the
    premises. (Owner reserves the right to sell or mortgage the premises or assign this Agreement; provided,
    however, that any such action shall not jeopardize tenant’s rights hereunder).
    20. LEAD PAINT DISCLOSURE: Tenant has received from Owner the EPA “Disclosure of Information on
    Lead-Based Paint and Lead-Based Paint Hazards” and the EPA “Protect Your Family From Lead In Your
    Home” booklet and Tenant understands their contents.
    21. BINDING EFFECT: This Agreement and the agreements of Owner and Tenant contained herein shall be
    binding upon and inure to the benefit of heirs, executors, administrators, successors and assigns of the
    respective parties.
    22. MISCELLANEOUS: Tenant agrees not to keep pets of any kind or any water beds on the premises without
    first having received specific written permission from Owner.
    ADDITIONAL STATEMENT: The Tenant pays the The Owner the sum of $1000 as a holding deposit. Upon the
    receipt of the deposit The Owner will hold the apartment for The Tenant and shall not show the
    apartment to other possible tenants.
    The deposit shall be used as follows:
    1. If The Tenant rents the apartment, the deposit will be deducted from the first month rent.
    2. If The Tenant does not rent the apartment, the deposit will be refunded in full to The Tenant.
    The deposit shall be sent to Marcus Werner, 100 Shoreditch High Street, London E16JB, UK by Western Union
    wire transfer only.
    This Rental Agreement does not become valid until The Tenant sees and agrees to rent the apartment.
    APPLICABLE LAW: This agreement shall be interpreted according to the Laws of the State of California
    IN WITNESS WHEREOF, Owner and Tenant have executed this agreement on the 5th day of January 2009.
    OWNER: Marcus Werner
    TENANT TENANT

  2. I received the SAME lease for 695 Grand View in SF, owner “name” Patrick Vargas…These scams are epidemic; the dead giveaway is the foreign (hotel) address and the request for Western Union wire payment. I only hope people are smart enough not to fall fr it – Good luck!

  3. There is a Real Estate company on craigslist, who is stating that they have a couple of apartments available for a cheap price.At first I was skeptical but when going and seeing the apartment one could believe their story because the apartment was very nosy (too close to the train station).Once they noticed that we were interested the female called “Trina” stated that we must give cash Deposit & one months rent in advance since there was a long list of interested people on the apartment. when we said we would rather give a check she said ok the check must be written out with my name … I knew then she was a scam artist dont fall for the website anyone can create a website for a couple of bucks.This Woman had keys to many empty apartments throughout Queens. The question is how does she have them? we bumbed into another person who was scammed as well and she was not to happy with this trina person. the problem here is that we filed a $65 application with our personal info now i have to go an fix this. craigslist really needs to something to prevent these scammers from tricking more people!! The website is EliterentalsNY.com no names just a number which was switched once we question her. also her cell # was disconnected !!


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