Posted by Kay on May 27, 2000 at 15:08:31:
In Reply to: Re: posted by MJ on May 16, 2000 at 16:14:40:
I was recently charged a $75. non-refundable application fee for a tiny studio. On top of that, the real estate agent told me the normal fee was 15%, but he was going to charge me $3000. (the studio was $1400.). I had to put $500 down, which would NOT be refunded to me should I decide I didn't want the apartment. I worked hard providing them with quantities of paperwork and every last detail of my personal and financial life. They then did NOT contact me, made me wait several days for an answer, and when I called the agent, he was unbelievably rude to me. I was very polite to him, but I asked him whether there were other applicants for this apartment. He just laughed at me and called me paranoid. I coudn't believe it. I suppose he hoped I would give up the $500.
Finally, my application was rejected (even though my finances are fine, 5 years ago an unscrupulous landlord tried to evict me to raise the rent, and even though I finally won, they put on some credit record that I haven't been able to locate that there was a judgement against me). Of course, they kept my $75.
Welcome to New York City.
Another "agent", by the way, was asking for a $300. application fee, and a $3000. fee. He said he was an agent, but then he said he was the building manager. I think he was the owner. Beware of owner's who ask for agent's fees.
I've seen it before.
Another common scam is the bait and switch. They advertise an apartment that doesn't exist, and try to get you to take something more expensive. This once happened to me after I had given a $15% fee to the agent. They then told me the apartment was not available, but when I wouldn't take the more expensive one, they would not give me back my money. So even though I had work to do, I sat in that agent's office for 5 hours until I got my money back!
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