Miami Beach 411
Like what you see? Let's talk about how
we can help your vacation --> Contact Us
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 33
Like Tree2Likes

Thread: Is this a Craigslist apartment rental scam?

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    61
    Likes Received
    0

    Default Is this a Craigslist apartment rental scam?

    Hi guys,

    I'm looking for apartments in Miami. I found something on Craigslist and emailed the person and got back a long response about the apartments, sounded like a reasonable, intelligent person but they claim they're now living in London, UK and the rental needs to be done thru eBay. I have to deposit one month rent, one month security on eBay.

    This is what is says:

    "To secure the apartment you will deposit the first month's rent plus the deposit to eBay as security, they will handle all the paperwork, documentation and the keys will be mailed to you via Overnight Express. You will have a 5 days inspection period to review the apartment and the lease, after this period if you decide not to rent the apartment eBay will return you the money 100%, you will get the first month's rent and the deposit back the same day the lease and keys are returned as I will be supporting the fees. "

    Is this a scam? First time I hear of this.

    Thanks much!!! Elli
    Last edited by Gus; 04-14-2010 at 10:06 AM. Reason: re-titled thread

  2. #2
    Moderator
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    South Beach
    Posts
    10,353
    Likes Received
    698

    Default

    Where is the apartment? How are you supposed to look at it if the owner is in London?

    Ebay is part of paypal which does have a money back guarantee if you are in a scam but do you really want to go down that road? Also, why on EARTH would anyone pay 2 months in rent before seeing the apartment?? That's why we have realtors. And if you don't like the apartment or lease you get the money back?? I say this is a SCAM!!!

  3. #3
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    61
    Likes Received
    0

    Default

    yes, it sounds so complicated - this is the entire email i got back. Apt is near Simpson Park HAmmock area:
    "Happy to hear of your interest,
    The apartment is available for rent,
    It is very spacious, over 1400sqft, very modern and bright, 2 large bedrooms, 2 full baths, a living room, dining area, washer and dryer in the apartment, lots of closet space, fully furnished, all new bedding/linens, cookware, dishes etc .The rooms are nicely furnished and the apartment features a spacious/open modern Kitchen with Stainless Steel Appliances: range/oven, microwave, dishwasher & refrigerator, lots of closets and storage space. Air Conditioning, Hardwood floors, Granite and marble bathrooms, stainless steel appliances, 42" LCD TV, DVD, Sound System. Comes with a gated parking space included,a storage unit where you can deposit my furniture (if you want to rent it unfurnished and you want use your own furniture) Maintenance is done by a specialized company and i will be billed for any maintenance work that gets done. Pets are allowed! It is located in a very select downtown neighborhood, The area is very nice, very quiet and safe, it is close to all the best attractions, easy access to public transportation. Great Restaurants, Bars, Pubs and shopping abound in the immediate area, within walking distance. I could rent the apartment for almost double the price i am asking ( US $900.00 / Month, US $900.00 Deposit ) Water,electricity, Internet,cable, parking, All the utilities and amenities fees are included in the monthly rent because I want to find someone serious and reliable that will always be on time with the rent and will take care of my property.



    I am the apartment owner, i now live in London, UK most of the time and i have decided to rent the apartment. The rental will be done only via eBay Real Estate. eBay.com is a legitimate and neutral company, offering purchase protection for millions of transactions each day. The apartment is not yet listed on their web site, first we have to set up the rental process through them. The process is simple and easy, everything is done online.

    To secure the apartment you will deposit the first month's rent plus the deposit to eBay as security, they will handle all the paperwork, documentation and the keys will be mailed to you via Overnight Express. You will have a 5 days inspection period to review the apartment and the lease, after this period if you decide not to rent the apartment eBay will return you the money 100%, you will get the first month's rent and the deposit back the same day the lease and keys are returned as I will be supporting the fees. I am sure you will love the apartment and that you will decide to rent it, but it's good to know you have the second option also. The apartment is unoccupied, you can move in the same day or whenever you are ready. The lease is flexible, can be month to month, min stay one month, If you are interested you can secure the apartment now and move in later, the lease will start from when you move in.

    I will be billed when i set up the process so I don't want to end up paying eBay hundreds of dollars for this service without any result. I want to make sure i am dealing with people who are serious about renting.

    Please tell me something about your income. If you are interested in the apartment please describe yourself so i can have an idea about you and the people that will be living in my apartment. Let me know if you are interested, when can you secure the apartment, how long are you planing to rent, I really need to take care of this matter by the end of the next week.


    Thank you for your time.
    Regards!"

  4. #4
    rk
    rk is offline
    Senior Member rk's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    2,781
    Likes Received
    258

    Default

    This is a common type of scam. Can't be sure about any specific case, but I would avoid it. Never rent an apartment sight unseen, and never send any significant money in advance.

  5. #5
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    61
    Likes Received
    0

    Default

    Yes, I agree. I'll stay away from it. Thanks guys!
    Moving July 1st, can't wait!!! would be nice to find an apt first though lol

  6. #6
    Moderator
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    South Beach
    Posts
    10,353
    Likes Received
    698

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ElliBU View Post

    The rental will be done only via eBay Real Estate. eBay.com is a legitimate and neutral company, offering purchase protection for millions of transactions each day. The apartment is not yet listed on their web site, first we have to set up the rental process through them. The process is simple and easy, everything is done online.
    What a load of s**t.

    Elli, craigslist isn't all scammers, look for the Miami Apartment Finders I think they are called. They are legit, and have an office based in Miami.

  7. #7
    Member Maria de los Angeles's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    South Miami
    Posts
    9,256
    Likes Received
    194

    Default

    Wow, I would run, not walk, away from that.

    Simpson Park Hammock is in Brickell... you see? The ad could've just said Brickell.

    Another dead giveaway: "I could rent the apartment for more ..." Well, why don't you?

    There are many more red flags.

    Find an ad that has a phone number and is simple, straightforward. You can always come back here to get our advice. And of course, never rent site unseen. Where are you looking to live?

  8. #8
    Senior Member Doug's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Los Angeles, CA
    Posts
    6,900
    Likes Received
    374

    Default

    This is a version of the Nigerian rental scam. Often they claim they're missionaries and have to be out of the country. They ask that you send them the deposit, sight unseen. Anyone that can't be there to show you the unit isn't worth talking to.

    Another common type scam on craigslist is the bait and switch: the place they advertised just rented, and they have another, more expensive place to show you. Real estate management companies often publish a list of rentals with too-good-to-be-true prices, none of which are really available, or if they are, have no resemblance to what is being advertised.

    Another common craigslist scam is to list a place that sounds great for a very low price. The tip off is that there is no address, just a phone number. You call the number and someone wants you to pay a lot of money to buy their listings -- which they just put together from a few newspapers.

    Watch out also for management companies that tell you you need to put up a holding deposit before your application is approved. They will tell you someone else is interested in the same apartment, and buy putting up the deposit, it will force them to make a decision. They have often conveniently left out a few less than savory details about the apartment, and later, if you're approved and decide you don't want it, they can take money out of your holding deposit to cover the period of time they took it off the market. Don't pay any deposits until you've been approved and are sure you want the apartment.

    I find it's best to deal with private landlords, as management companies are often too crafty, throwing in all kinds of extra fees and deposits. Of course, there is no assurance that a private landlord is honest, but at least there isn't a middle man who's vying for a cut.

  9. #9
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    61
    Likes Received
    0

    Red face

    lol you guys are absolutely right thanks!! i never wrote back and trashed the email immediately.. ok , i will look at the miami rentals listings .. my lease in nyc expires end of june, so july 1st i have to have a place in miami! i was there 2 wks ago for 4-5 days and boy did i love it!

    i have a pooch and may be working in either brickel or coconut grove..will prob lease a car to make getting around town easier. where do you guys think? south beach? i saw morningside and liked it, there's a park near biscayne bay but it's mostly houses and since i'm a total newcomer i think it best to start simple with a 1BR apt somewhere..i say coral gable, but it's not really my thing.. not sure where to look really, i don't want anything too touristy, but i don't want anything too "lonely" either.. and i'm out with dog all the time! so if you guys think any particular area would be good i can start focusing my searches there.. again, i wouldn't know black from white when it comes to miami neighborhoods (yet) ! thank you as always!!

  10. #10
    Member sungal's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    3,744
    Likes Received
    1

    Default

    I'm glad you avoided that scam! The ad was too general..it never said near shops on Lincoln Rd, or close to Flamingo Park..total scam. Plus someone who really cared about their property would never leave it up to ebay..they'd want to talk to you, email, etc.

    What's your price range for a one bed? If you're not sure on areas you could just rent short term. South of Fifth is great since it's lively but residential at the same time. A lot of the dog owners there are really nice-including me!

    Here's a picture of my pup being a tourist in her own backyard..she's at Monty's.
    Attached Images Attached Images  

  11. #11
    rk
    rk is offline
    Senior Member rk's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    2,781
    Likes Received
    258

    Default

    Doug, great advice. Here is another twist: scammers will list another (legit) apartment that is actually for rent in a nice neighborhood, pretending it is their own, and offer it on Craigslist at at low price. Then they pretend to be out of the country (and sometimes they never were in the country!), and ask the mark (aka gullible renter) to drive by and see if they like it, then send a deposit to hold it until the "owner" get's back into town "shortly". The Internet is a double-edged sword.

  12. #12
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    61
    Likes Received
    0

    Default

    Sungal, are you still in Miami, for some reason I thought you had moved..
    2 weeks ago when i was in miami I saw a couple of "for rents" in south beach and along meridian near the golf course there? how's that area? looked nice...my price range for a 1BD is around $1200 - is that too little??

  13. #13
    Member Maria de los Angeles's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    South Miami
    Posts
    9,256
    Likes Received
    194

    Default

    Another bait and switch is rental prices that sound really cheap, but it turns out it's only the first month.

    Ellibu, the area on Meridian around the golf course is nice. It's quieter than other areas on the beach and it's walking distance to Lincoln Road. I don't know about the individual unit though.

    Deciding where to live depends on a lot ... where are you working? Will you have a car? How big is your dog?

  14. #14
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    61
    Likes Received
    0

    Default

    Hi Maria, I'm applying for a job in Coconut Grove. I don't have a car but I may lease one. My dog is about 70 lbs, 8 yrs old. I like to be in a safe area, close to a park where I can take her every day.. Do you know of any good areas? And yes, I love Lincoln Rd

  15. #15
    Administrator Michelle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Miami Beach, FL
    Posts
    1,706
    Likes Received
    53

    Default

    It has been a long time since I looked at apartments in Miami. And some of my friends that live in studios, both in Downtown Miami and in Miami Beach, have shared what they pay for rent these days (it's like a horror story).

    Anyway, I decided to take a look at the Renter's Cafe website because I have been in their "store" and they seem like good people. They have a great database of apartments, with good pics. The prices seem affordable, $950 to $1,100 for a one bedroom in Miami Beach.

    Now, these apartments are not luxury, but you will have enough space and be comfortable. If you live in NY now, a 700 to 850 sq ft apartment will seem like a mansion, and the rent for the month will be like 1/2 your rent now.

    I think living on the beach, or in downtown Miami, will be your best bet. Pick a place you can easily walk around so you can park your car on the weekends and not worry about moving it. Or, pick a place real close to work so you can just walk to work - easy to do if you work and live in Brickell.

  16. #16
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    61
    Likes Received
    0

    Default

    "If you live in NY now, a 700 to 850 sq ft apartment will seem like a mansion, and the rent for the month will be like 1/2 your rent now."

    Michelle, that's spot on!! 800 sq ft would be a dream and if I can get it for $1000 would be great! I really don't need anything luxury, just cozy, safe and close to places i can take my pooch..

    you guys are saying short-term which is what i'm going for at least until i get used to miami is it easy to find places short term or everybody wants you to sign a year lease?

  17. #17
    Member sungal's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    3,744
    Likes Received
    1

    Default

    When I looked in my price range (up to $1450), I saw maybe just three places over 750sq.ft. A lot of the studios here are tiny. I guess they used to be hotel rooms. Just keep looking at places and you'll find something you like.

    The realtor can show you properties that are 6 months and one year, so you choose.

  18. #18
    Member Maria de los Angeles's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    South Miami
    Posts
    9,256
    Likes Received
    194

    Default

    ElliBu, why not live in Coconut Grove then? There are three nice parks where to walk your dogs, plus there's the whole marina which is nice to walk in too. And the little downtown area has bookstores, shops, restaurants, bars, cafés, etc; I'm not sure what rents are going for there, but it can't hurt to look. Someone I know pays $1100 for a spacious one bedroom with 2.5 baths and parking in the heart of the city. You'd want to in between Bird Road & Grand Ave - there is only one reasonable major supermarket there and that's Milam's so without a car you need to factor that in. (There's a Fresh Market but that's kind of expensive for everyday shopping.)

    There is a section of Coconut Grove you should avoid, which is everything west on Grand Avenue just past 27th street.

    I should tell you though, living in Miami without a car is tough. Doable, but not the best.

  19. #19
    Moderator
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    South Beach
    Posts
    10,353
    Likes Received
    698

    Default

    I think the only place you can live in Miami Dade without a car is South Beach.

  20. #20
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    61
    Likes Received
    0

    Angry

    I imagine South Beach rent is more than the Grove right? Just looked at the map for the Grove - is it as far from Miami Beach as it looks?? it's next to Coral Gables and that felt like eternity to get to it 2 weeks ago when I went to meet a recruiter ... does south beach have any parks for dog walks?

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •