What can I do if I was scammed into paying an upfront downpayment fee by a rental listing agency for a property that I did not end up renting?

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What can I do if I was scammed into paying an upfront downpayment fee by a rental listing agency for a property that I did not end up renting?

The agency is refusing to refund my money after multiple demands for payment. They are constantly changing their business name and many others have also been scammed. They charge their fees up front and lie about what the fee is for. They lied to me in person while their contract states otherwise. What is the best way to approach this situation? Is there any anonymous way to contact others that have also been affected so that we can all sue this business?

Asked on November 18, 2011 under Real Estate Law, California

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

If you believe that you have been defrauded with respect to a down payment fee by a rental lisitng agency who refuses to return your deposit, you need to send a written demand letter for the return of your money to the person who you were in contact with for the company giving so many days to return you money.

Keep a copy of the letter for future reference. If you do not receive the return of your money within the stated time period, your option would be to sue the contact person you were dealing with as well as the rental listing agency in small claims court.


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