Reader Rant: ‘My Family Just Got Robbed of Our Rent’

by on October 12, 2017 · 4 comments

in Ocean Beach

By Josh Weber

My family just got robbed of our rent.

We have two girls and a baby on the way, so this is extremely tough … for the first time since my oldest was born, thoughts of homelessness cross my mind.

We were trying to move from one place to another. It’s the same size as where we lived before, just cheaper and a further commute. Finally we could save a little, and our kids would still have their own room and space.

We were struggling to get in with individual agents, each charging us around $100 for applications or credit checks. So after a few hundred dollars, we chose an agency. We felt like we were getting ripped off from each agent; an agency, we thought, would be a safer approach.

We found one and they quickly helped us find a place. We gave our landlord our notice and put down a deposit. A week passed, we packed our bags, reserved a truck and arranged for help to move.

On the 1st, we were told they needed a reference from my current landlord and that he had not responded to them. We contacted him and he explained to us that he doesn’t give referrals or reviews. I asked that he write that to them. He did.

They responded back that the response was inadequate and we were denied. We immediately wrote back saying that we could get a review. We called our landlord and he made the exception and wrote the review. Two days later, we were denied and they asked where to send the check. We asked why, no explanation or response was given.

Today, we received the reimbursement. $1,540 was taken out – $960 for putting the house back on the market, $580 for rent for the days the house could have been on the market.

We thought we could only lose money if something was fraudulent or they couldn’t verify our work or how long we lived there. That is what our contract said. That’s why I know I’ll win it back in court. But in the meanwhile, this robbery has only increased our struggle to get into a place. Not only are we now short $1,500, we have also given our landlord notice and are expected to move.

But I have my family.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar Geoff Page October 12, 2017 at 11:15 am

Give us all the name of the agency and let them know they will be blasted in every type of social media, including many, many bad Yelp reviews unless they return your money now. Let them know tha the negative publicity will cost them much more than what they are trying to take from you.

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avatar Catsmom October 12, 2017 at 3:48 pm

Did this happen in San Diego? I have never heard of anyone using an agent or agency to find a rental here. What they did is absolutely illegal. If the landlord declines an application, they must give a written explanation of the reason. If it’s due to bad credit, they are required to give a copy of the credit report they used to make the determination. Otherwise, who knows if they are discriminating against you because you have children, or another reason? They shouldn’t be able to keep one penny of the deposit, except the application/credit check fee, unless you signed some sort of a contract agreeing to give up the deposit if not accepted. This sure sounds like it could be a scam. I would suggest writing a strong letter telling them you suspect discrimination and unfair housing practices, that will get their attention.

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avatar Mari October 12, 2017 at 5:01 pm

That is highway robbery. I would suggest writing to the Dept. of Real Estate – CA, they answer ALL complaints. Do you have the license number of the agent & broker that you worked with? Do you have a copy of the receipt of the deposit you gave them? Did you have a lease signed? Here are a couple of other numbers that might be helpful. Oh and call Turko! You might also want to contact Legal Aid in the Justice Building Downtown.

Call RENTERS RIGHTS of San Diego Hotline
Website: http://www.211sandiego.org
Phone: (858) 300-1211

Renters Law Line
San Diego, CA
(858) 571-1166

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avatar judi October 13, 2017 at 1:08 pm

Thank you everyone. Josh is my grandson and appreciates all of your comments. He has begun acting on the suggestions that you have given him. To clarify: he lives in Orange County and was trying to move to Lake Elsinore. However, the rules are for all of California and he will definitely seek the advice you have given him. Again, thank you.

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