On July 23, 2012, I found an add on Craigslist for a 3bdrm/2bath rental house in Ft. Worth, TX for $700/month. The listing had photos & contact info and seemed to be legitimate. That same evening, I showed the listing to my fiance & told him that I'd emailed the contact person, "Sandra", and we waited for a response.
The following is my initial email:
"I have a few questions about the 3br/2ba house in Ft. Worth you have listed on Craigslist. How much is the deposit? There isn't a refrigerator in the pictures of the kitchen so does the house come with one? How many square feet is the house? Do you know about how much the utilities run? Where in Ft. Worth is it located? This house looks like it could be perfect for my family. My husband & I would love to come look at it if possible. You can reach me by email or phone 214-405-1430. [continued below]....
..... Thank you for taking the time to read my email. I look forward to hearing from you.
I received a response that evening but it was late so I waited until the next day, July 24, 2012, to reply back. "Sandra" wrote a lengthy and heartwarming email about her family being on a mission trip to Nigeria that would last up to 4 years and that they'd been looking for the "right person" to occupy and take care of their house while they were out of the country. They were hoping to find someone to lease the house for 2-3 years or more. "Sandra" said she would forward me a rental questionnaire, if we were still interested in the house, to answer some questions that would help her and her husband to decide if we were the "right people" to occupy the house for them. I replied that we were still interested and we waited for her to reply back.
The following is her reply:
Thanks for your email, I personally own the house, I want my property to be well taken good care of there are some rules and regulation. I do give out to tenant willing to rent my house please don't disrespect my order but if you are still capable of renting my house the rules and regulation goes his way. You must keep my house clean including the surrounding, you must know how to use the stove to avoid fire outbreak, you must not disturb the neighbor. I decided to rent out the property due to our transfer to (West Africa) for Missionary Work in a church here named World Mission because formally the house was for sale but my husband advised me not to sell it anymore, now l want to rent the house because I'm looking for someone to move in asap. We are renting it out because we need someone to take good care of the property because of the distance we are not after the money. Don't be surprise if you find this house at another website with different price, I plan to rent it through Real estate before but they are not serious because they have a lot of house to lease out and they added some money to rent it and the commission is not flexible. Have this in mind you must know the kind of person I'm because am giving you this rules because of what or responded between me and my last tenant , you can drive by the house anytime to take a look at the area and surrounding. For now we are looking for 2 or 3 years lease or rather lets us know how long you wish to stay.
Let me know if you are still interested to able me forward you the Rental Questionnaire to fill out.
Number of Bedrooms: 3 BedsNumber of baths: 2.0Square footage: 1,176Pets are welcome!!!Rent: $700Refundable security Deposit: $700House Address: 4716 Rose Of Sharon Lane, Fort Worth, TX 76137
Thanks and God bless you.Sandral Martin & family+234 7044078154
BELOW IS THE FRONT PICTURE OF MY HOUSE AND THE INSIDE."
I received the rental questionnaire on July 25, 2012 and immediately filled out the information and sent it back to her. I checked my email off and on the rest of the day looking for her response.
She didn't reply back until Thursday, July 26, 2012 at 3:55 PM. I immediately replied back and am still waiting for a response from her again.
This is my last email to her:
Thank you for getting back to me with your decision to let us rent the house. I do still have a few questions just to make sure I'm not confused about anything. Is there a refrigerator in the house? There wasn't one in the pictures of the kitchen on Craigslist. You said the utilities ARE included in the rent price of $700/month as well as a washer & dryer? I'm a little skeptical about wiring money to Nigeria because I've heard about money scams that want money wired to different African countries. Is there anyone that lives locally to me that you could rely on to do the exchange of deposit for the keys & paperwork? We would feel better meeting someone in person in order to ensure the validity of this arrangement.
I look forward to your reply to the above questions before we can make a final decision about the house.
Thank you for your patience,Stacie
I believe I will contact the tax assessor in Tarrant County to find out who the real owner is to let them know their house is being used in a rental scam.