Beware of Los Angeles Apartment Rental Scams

I received a call today from an out-of-towner looking to rent a Los Angeles apartment.  The caller asked me if what she was about to do sounded right.

She was about to send money to someone offering a 2 bed 2 bath, 2500 sq. ft.  furnished condo for lease for the grand sum of $1,200.  The condo was at the Park Wilshire on the Wilshire Corridor, Westwood.  If something sounds too good to be true, then there is a good chance that there is no chance that it is true.

Craigslist has gained a notorious reputation for these kinds of scams.  A Los Angeles Realtor® will place an add on Craigslist, either for a property being rented or sold.  Some unscrupulous people take advantage of this by grabbing the details, and often the pictures, and posting their own ads for the same property but with much lower prices.  There are people who desperately fall for this, and will send the requested deposit upfront.

How do you know if the ad is real?

Do your research.  Again, if it sounds too good to be true it is going to be.  If, as in this case, the person passes themselves off as a Los Angeles Realtor®, ask for their license number.  You can check if it is a legitimate number at the California Department of Real Estate website.  Or call a Los Angeles Realtor® as this person did, and we will check whether the ad is legitimate or not, after we have picked ourselves off the floor from laughing too hard.

Someone from out of town may not know this, but if you are thinking of  renting on the Wilshire Corridor, then you need to know the following facts:

At the Park Wilshire, 10724 Wilshire Blvd. over the past year, 6 units have been rented at an average price of $4,267.  The highest price was $7,500 and the lowest $2,100.

There are presently 7 condos for rent at the Park Wilshire for an average price of $7,436.

For the whole of the Wilshire Corridor over the past year, 107 units were rented for an average price of $4,989.  The highest price was $22,000 and the lowest $1,875.

There are presently 67 units for rent on the Wilshire Corridor for an average price of $7,658.

This should give you something to think about when you see these offers on sites like Craigslist and EBay.  And if you ever have any questions, don’t hesitate to call me.

Map of the Wilshire Corridor Westwood

View Wilshire Corridor in a larger map

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