I found a great place on Craigslist several weeks ago that was going to be available on Tuesday. When I called, the guy was very polite, talked me through everything, sent me the link to the rental application on his website, made everything really simple. I did some research myself to make sure it was all above board, being on Craigslist and all, and the phone number and website definitely match up to the property owner. There’s no office since it’s only a 16 unit building but the guy is locally known for owning it. It definitely isn’t a “meet me at starbucks with cash/money order” type of apartment listings, it’s real.
Since I live out of state I knew I wouldn’t be able to see the inside of it first, but a friend who lived in the same building a couple of years ago said they’ve just been renovated and he confirmed the pictures were what I could expect. Great! Send in the application and $100 admin fee, he contacts the place I rent from now, gets my credit and calls my work. A week later he emails me and says that everything came back good, he’d just need the first month of rent and a $250 deposit on the day I move in.
Fast forward to yesterday and I meet the owner there at 10 am. I tell him my name and he goes “The same (my name) who I’ve been talking to at (my phone number)” Yep that’s me. “And your email address is (my email address)?” Yes it is. And he just stood there for about 10 seconds looking at the paperwork and said he’d be right back. He went to his car and I think he got on the phone. Maybe 5 minutes later he comes back and says “I’m sorry, but there’s been a mistake, your credit came back unsatisfactory, you can’t have the apartment”
When I told him I don’t have any loans – student or car, and I pay my credit card off every month so I can’t possibly have bad credit he just said “Sorry, it’s not available” as he’s basically jogging back to his car at this point. He just drove off, I’m standing there alone flabbergasted, what the hell just happened?
As I’m driving to my friends house to help him clear some space in his garage for my furniture, which is now on its way with the movers and I have to change the delivery address, it hits me. This guy hadn’t seen me before, my name is something very common so he couldn’t have known what I look like. He just lied to me and refused to rent to me, after he said everything was fine, because I’m black.
When I emailed him demanding the $100 fee back he replied back with “Sorry, that fee is non-refundable” I’m out nearly $1000 from the movers, the $100 for the admin fee and I’m probably going to have to take the first thing I can find apartment-wise because I don’t want to be a burden to my friend in his guest bedroom.
How can I get my $100 back and possibly my mover’s fee from this guy?