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How I legally got scammed for 250$ and 2 days by upscale apartment complex

How I legally got scammed for 250$ and 2 days by upscale apartment complex

The Setup

My wife and I were planning to look for a new apartment as our current lease was about to expire. We gave our move out notice and started our journey to find a new apartment. The current apartment we live in was picked out online before moving to Austin, TX since we were on a strict time limit. Within the past year our income has doubled and our credit has improved as well.

Early on Saturday we set out route consisting of 5 different properties to tour. The First place we visited Altis Lakeline managed by Altman Companies was amazing, its a brand new apartment complex with cool amenities, priced at $1400 which is much lower, compare to similar places $1600$1700, that where I missed first red flag. Plus they had amazing special2 months free rentwhich under normal circumstances will raise suspicion, I thought its a brand new property with construction done a few months ago trying to get to full capacity.

Out of all of the properties we visited none of them even came close to beating out Atlis Lakeline.

Later that evening we compared the prices and layouts for all of the places that we visit and of course the Atlis was no brainer to choose, it was hands down best place with the best deal. We still had a months lease left on our current lease, but to get the SPECIAL we had to move in within seven days to get it. Even if move in a weekwe are still getting 1 free month!

Falling for it

This is it! We decided to go with a two bedroom apartment, because hey who doesn't need more space right? So Saturday night we started our online application.

Sunday we returned to the apartment complex to finish up the application, ask questions and tour the place one more time. During both visits there was quite a bit of people viewing the property as well, and only handful apartments available, so we jumped right in.

During our second tour of the apparent we had little legal talk with a assistant property director (lets just call her Fanny). She made a point to mention how they are following all the laws to a T, which I thought was good because as a tenant I like to think that there are laws protecting me as well.

We paid $150 administration fee, two $50 application fees and $350 deposit to secure the apartment, totaling 600$. They provide iPad on the spot to secure the apartment right there. Then they made a photocopy of our ID for a file. Which again raised my suspicion, Ive rented many apartment before and none of properties ever asked for that before signing the lease, in my head it was done dealso I let it slip.

We were excited, with moving day just a week away. Later that evening I went again to their website to look at the floor plans again and noticed that the apartment that we had secured is still available which I thought was strange.

Anagnorisis

Monday morning I get call from FannyYour application got denied because of bad credit click She just hang up on me. I was confused for a second. My credit score is over 700, my wife credit score is little under 700 and no missed payments ever and together we make almost 10 times the rent annually.

We were in shock. It took them 15 hours to deny us.

I called them back right away, to clarify if there is an error and get more details. Your application got denied because of bad credit click She just hung up on me again!

Call them againFanny is not available. Ask them to call me back. Now at this point Im really upset.

Finally hour later I got a call from Fanny, she said that details are not available your application got denied by the system, and system is down right now. We really liked the place so I offer to put a month deposit if necessaryno go, two months depositshe said its a final decision and there is nothing she or I can do according to the law.

She said that I can reapply in 60 days and that my deposit of $350 would be available in 30 days. $250 is gone.

At this point I hate it them.

Next morning got email with denial letter. To get more details I had to contact CoreLogic SafeRent. My application was denied due to their system show that some management company filed missing rent in 2011. Which is not true I have zero collections or public records. Here is the best part. For me to verify that I do not owe money to them I have to provide a letter from that management company that I dont owe money to them and fax it back to CoreLogic. Then within 30 days they will fix it. That is the most ridiculous thing I ever heard. Another funny thing is that when you call them (888)3332413 while you on hold, automated service notify about their former name 3 times to make it more confusing. Former name is CoreLogic SafeRent and the new one is CoreLogic Property Rental Solutions.

Dig little deeper. CoreLogic is not accredited by BBB which didnt stop dozens of people to leave a review with complains about made up records on their CoreLogic report with the most ridiculous stuff, my favoriteaccording to the CoreLogic someone was declined for a felony on their records for selling drugswhile being a third grader.

Links for more scam stories are below:

Here is BBB, with some more scams stories from the ConsumerAffair and little more on Yelp.

Then I noticed one statement on CoreLogic website:

The criteria to accept or decline an applicant are established by the property and/or its corporate headquarters, not CoreLogic Rental Property Solutions. We only provide our clients with consumer reports that they use as a tool in making their decisions to accept or decline applicants.

Then it ALL made sense.

Denying 5 people a day is much more profitable business then renting the placeitself!

Average family 35 people would be scammed out of $300400 and leasing office is open 7 days a week.

I dont have exact numbers for how many people apply a day. Judging by how many people were checking this place out, I bet that the number is more then 5, thanks to the lower price and that sweet special.

Counting the Money

average apartment price * apartments to rent * a month

1700 * 10 * 1 = $17000

vs.

average scam * days in a months * average people scammed a day

300 * 30 * 5 = $45000

With almost triple the money with only 5 applications a day and zero overhead from same number of apartmentsFanny should definitely get a raise, oh wait, she already assistant property director.
The end

At this point there is nothing I can do to get my money back or the apartment. Even disputing a charge on the credit cardthey have copies of our ID, smart. By the way did I mention they accept any credit cards without a fee? Thought that they are simply providing a good service.

Today, more then a week later their website still shows same apartments availableAltis Lakeline. They didnt rent a single apartment for the whole week.

Checked WebArchive seems like they are running special since September.

I even come with a name for the scamMilking the property.

To be fair they said they will waive the application fee if we decide to reapply after 60 days, which is not going to happenwith less then a month on current lease and reviews about disputing with CoreLogic on BBB and ConsumerAffairs.

Scamming people is a very profitable business and definitely can show an impressive cash flow but at least its unethical and should be illegal. Losing that money didnt hurt me financially but there are so many family's that cant afford to be scammed. Moving is expensive and having $600$1000 on hold with hope if getting only half backwill leave some familys on the streets.

Shame on you.

Sincerely Yours, Angry Tenant.

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