Rental Company Complaints Launch 10News Investigation
6:17 AM, Mar 24, 2009
The housing market is tight and renters often need help finding a place. San Diego renters told the I-Team they wanted help finding available properties. But after paying money for the help, they said they didn't get much help at all."I was lied to by this company and misled," said Colby Henington who hired Rent San Diego Properties to help her find an apartment in the beach area. She was busy and needed to find a place to live quickly.She paid $118 for a list of rental properties and a credit check. Henington said some listings didn't have key information, phone numbers were disconnected and some properties weren't available."I reached landlords who rented out their property months ago," Henington said.The I-Team reported on this company two years ago for the same reasons. Earlier this month, they went undercover again to buy a list of rental properties. They spot checked 112 of the listed properties, which was about half of the properties on the list.Researchers talked to 83 people who answered the phone. They found 20 properties were already rented out and five properties weren't available yet.Rent San Diego said their credit check would be valid for all the rentals, but the I-Team found out not all landlords accept it.The I-Team also found some of the same rental listings for free on Craigslist. The website is always a good place to look for rentals since no one has to pay to see the list."The services we offer? You can definitely go out and do this yourself," said Laverne Bosse, the owner of Rent San Diego Properties. She said properties rent quickly and that means she can't always update the lists as soon as possible.State law requires prepaid rental listing service like Rent San Diego to confirm "the availability of the property" four days prior to the rental listing. Law also says the company needs permission from property owners or landlords to list the property.Rent San Diego Properties has an "F" rating from the Better Business Bureau. In response, Bosse said, "They say we have unanswered complaints. I've asked them to send those to me. No response."The I-Team called the BBB to follow-up. They said Rent San Diego Properties had a pattern of bad behavior and said "lack of communication is a problem.""We can't satisfy everybody," Bosse said. "We can only show what's out there for rent."Bosse told the I-Team Rent San Diego Properties has been in business since 2003 and has many happy clients and landlords. During their research, the I-Team spoke with landlords who said they do like doing business with Bosse and her company.Renter Henington told the I-Team she found a rental property on her own.