A Flint man recently discovered that the deposit he put down on a house for rental was gone, and that the woman he thought was his new landlord didn’t actually own the property. Reports indicate that the man found the house on Craigslist.org, a free classified ads site. The man went to visit the house, met the supposed landlord, and paid a $500 security deposit. He also signed a rental agreement and began to move into the home before he realized what had happened.

The man discovered that the woman was not the owner of the home when a maintenance man arrived while he was moving in and after a brief conversation realized that he had been defrauded.

This case shows just how important it is to work with qualified professionals when negotiating a lease or other residential property deals. Although resources like Craigslist can be tempting for potential renters on a budget, there is also significant risk of entering into a deal that is not as beneficial as it seemed. In this specific situation, the prospective tenant thought that by meeting the landlord and seeing the property that he knew what he was getting.

In addition to concerns about possible fraud, Michigan renters also want to be careful about the terms of the lease that they are signing. Many people think that leases are all alike and that the terms are non-negotiable, only to discover restrictive provisions later that create trouble.

For more information about legal representation in a landlord-tenant arrangement, check out our law firm’s web site.

Source: M Live, “Man pays $500 to false Flint landlord in suspected Craigslist scam,” Khalil AlHajal, July 24, 2012.

FindLaw Network