Are rental companies who take money for services upfront legal and above board

UPDATED: Jun 8, 2012

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

UPDATED: Jun 8, 2012Fact Checked

Get Legal Help Today

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Are rental companies who take money for services upfront legal and above board

I came across a listing for an apartment in my area within my price range, and upon contacting the number listed, I found out this was actually through a company that refuses to show apartments or let you contact building managers or see pictures until you pay them at least $135 for their service packages. I am uncomfortable with the idea of paying money upfront just to see apartments that are convenient for me, and want to know what my legal recourse would be should they actually turn out to be cons. Searched for reviews and found none, though their site claims they have operated for 7 years.

Asked on June 8, 2012 under Real Estate Law, California


Janet Martin / Janet Martin Attorney at Law

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Sounds like a scam. you didn't mention what their "service packages" consisted of; if it is just to show you available places, no need to pay for that...if they provide some interesting services, well maybe that's how they stay "legal" but I would not use them. You can find places for rent yourself or through any real estate agent, who will help you for no charge to by the place you want to see, there may be a manager's office on site, or a different phone could very well be a scam

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption