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Today I had an odd experience checking out a new rental listed on Craigslist. It was a $1000/month house, and sounded like a great deal. But you know what they say about a deal being too good to be true…

I called the fellow named Greg around 11am. He seemed quite anxious on the phone and I took it as him being distracted and busy. I asked a few questions about the house. The ad mentioned the house being $1000/month, however Greg mentioned without me bringing it up, that he was renting out the main floor “as the ad says”, and he was in the process of “perhaps” making a suite downstairs.

He then had to mention that this was a business arrangement with his partner(a lawyer). Um, ok. I can’t say why, but I got that weird gut reaction while on the phone with him. He asked if I could come see it in the next hour. I thought that was a bit odd but agreed. I drove up there to see the place.

I met Greg outside and went inside. There was a few rough looking ‘helpers’ frantically trying to clean up the kitchen and one of the bedrooms.

Looking around, there were belongings scattered all over. A random lady’s high heel, cutlery, random clothes. It looked like the place must have been a disaster. The elements had been removed from the stove. I fully expect there were hash burn marks on the elements and they needed to replace them. All the windows were open. In November.The fridge looked like it had burns all over it.

I asked Greg if the place had been recently rented. He said no. I asked if he had just bought it. No. I asked who owned the house then? He said he and his business partner did. I asked him who that was. He name dropped a lawyer I had dealt with locally. Hmm, mental note to call later…

He then showed me the unfinished basement that apparently was going to be a suite. It was a family type room and an unfinished ‘spare’ bedroom. So I asked him when he was going to be done the suite? “In the next couple of days” he says. There was weeks of work to do obviously, so he asks if, seeing that we had a large family, would we be interested in renting the whole house? $1700! What the hell?

I tell him that I’m looking at another rental in an hour for $1275(true story), so he says, “well, we’re pretty close then…” How about $1300 then? What? You just dropped the price $400?

So who owns this again, I ask? A company? Yes, he says. I asked him what the name of the company was? He said it was a numbered company. That he owned with a prominent lawyer in Nanaimo. He didn’t strike me as a business partner of a lawyer, if you know what I mean…

My gut was screaming, get the hell out of here!

What ‘corporation’ shows a disastrous house completely unfinished and not ready to rent? Then, without much of a walk through, drops the price of the place $400?Or was it a mark up of $400 as the ad says $1000?

He tells me to let him know if we want it, as there were tons of people looking at the place and calling. He says to me, “The first person to give the damage deposit gets the place”.

Um, no thanks buddy. My gut and brain agree that there is something fishy going on here…

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