On Tuesday, Jan. 10 I saw a posting for a room to rent in a 2-bedroom apartment in Los Angeles in the Los Feliz district. The address given was 1800 N. New Hampshire Ave.
I know that address because I lived there from 1992 to 2010 — and I was hopeful about living there again.
I used the Craiglist address assigned to the post
(kfn6g-[protected]@hous.craigslist.org) and sent an email reply as requested. A person with the email address of: [email protected] replied.
The first thing I found out was that the address of the room was not 1800 North New Hampshire after all. He indicated he had a house to rent. I was a little disturbed by the misrepresentation and tried to find out why he did it but he never explained. However, the rent seemed very fair — $900.00/month plus a $450. security deposit. He asked me a lot of standard renter profile questions, which I answered.
When he didn’t tell me the actual street address, I emailed him about this. He refused to give me the street address. And then he wanted me to look at the property from the windows only and I said no. I need to do a walk-through. I said he was welcome to have someone he knows in here in LA walk through with me. He wouldn’t answer that and he still wouldn’t explain why he misrepresented the original address in the posting. He also wanted me to pay the rent via Western Union to his lawyer. I replied that using Western Union was an unnecessary expense and that I would mail a check each month.
I also said, as it was a house (apparently), that I would need a written agreement by him that a plumber and electrician could be called in case of repairs and that he would pay the repairs. I also asked if the roof had been checked for leaks. He wouldn’t reply to any of that.
The last email from him was this: “so you can only view the exterior I will mail the key and document to you via DHL OK? ”
This makes no sense. If I have keys, of course I am going to go inside. And I again asked him to explain why he misrepresented the original address and the posting — it being a house and not a room in an apartment. He didn’t reply. I finally told him I wanted him to come clean with me, as I was being clean with him. That was Wednesday, Jan. 9. I haven’t heard from him since.
He told me in his first email that he and his wife and daughter had moved to Toronto, Canada unexpectedly when his work required the move. I had thought maybe he was concerned about his property being broken into (if I was the criminal type) and that might explain the secrecy regarding the actual street and house number, but he never responded. So in my final email I also said that I was going to report him to Craigslist. And as I say, I haven’t heard from him since.
The whole thing got very weird. If he was trying to protect his property, I can understand that, but lying about the actual address was the first red flag. I was hoping he would give me a reasonable explanation but he never did. I asked him several times to call me and I never heard from him and he wouldn’t agree to a call.
I told him in my last email that if this was a scam just to get me to send him money, he had wasted his effort.
It was a dishonest posting, unfortunately, and now you know. I have kept all the email exchanges between us, if you want to see them.