NYC Apartment Agent

New York real estate + beyond

Beware of Bait-&-Switch Tactics

with 2 comments

NYC Apartment Agent: View from a three-bedroom condo for sale

NYC Apartment Agent: View from a three-bedroom condo for sale on the Upper East Side.

NEW YORK — Last month, I listed a few ways to protect yourself from apartment rental scams. Here’s one more.

A couple of friends who were looking for a place in Brooklyn found a pre-war, one-bedroom flat they liked and paid a deposit. The application took almost a week to be approved.

When they went back to sign the lease and conduct a walk-through of their new apartment, the landlord showed them a different unit. Naturally, it was smaller and with far fewer renovations than the original.

My friends protested but soon learned the apartment they liked had already been rented. Luckily, there was no problem in getting their deposit back.

Looking at the apartment application, we noticed one was detail missing: The apartment number. (Not a humorous one, like this.)

So, when applying for an apartment, make sure the unit is specified in your paperwork.

Obstacles might never be avoided completely, but it makes sense to reduce the possibility as much as possible.

Then again, your best bet might be to work with a reputable real estate agent at a company with a solid reputation.

Have you encountered any scams when looking for an apartment? Let me know in the comments below.


Written by Bruno

2011.09.30 at 14:22

2 Responses

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  1. This happened to me, too! I think when looking for a place in Brooklyn, we’re so happy we find a place that doesn’t induce vomiting–and then the pressure comes from the agent to fill out an application as fast as possible–that it is easy to overlook the apartment number. They got their deposit back, but they’re out the credit check fee, right?


    2011.09.30 at 14:30

  2. […] mind the unscrupulous licensed types who might attempt bait-and-switch tactics to make a quick buck. One increasingly common flim-flam involves con artists posting Craigslist […]

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