Landlord Breached Contract and Has not responded to Demand letter Any Advice?

Me and my boyfriend were suppose to move into an apartment we found on craigslist on october 1st , we signed a lease that states the 1st would be our move in date. Our landlords changed our move in date because of previous tenants.. On the 3rd we drove by the apartment to see if they were moved out , like we were told by the landlord(that they would be moved out on the 3rd) we saw that they were not moved out, so we contacted our landlord and asked what was going on. They told us the current tenants were now not moving out until the 10th and that we would not be able to move in until the 11th. I then sent them an email confirming everything we talked about and i got a reply that said we will just give you your money back tomorrow!!!. They did not want to confirm, and after calling them to ask why they said they did not want to deal with the apartment and were not renting it out. We then said fine when will we get a refund , he yelled at us and told us he was not a bank and we would not get $2000 back without signing a release from the apartment(which we never asked for) would .
I responded that we never broke the lease, that they did. and i contacted an attorney. He said to write a demand letter for the 2,000 they own us , for first and lasts months rent which we gave to them about two months ago.

They had 30 days to respond to the letter and they have not, and they did not give our money back.

Also they have posted the apartment on craigslist every day looking for new tenants to move in , even though they have our money and we have a signed lease for the 1st of october. (they posted the apartment 10 minutes after they said they didnt want to rent it anymore)

Now we have no place to live and are staying with his mother, she is moving by the end of the month simply because we were moving into this apartment. we signed the lease on 09/11/2009 almost a two months ago

If anyone could please help us , give any advice, or if something similar happened to you , please reply. We really do not know how to go about this because were afraid he is not going to give us our money back and we are afraid they are running a scam.
thank you for all the responses we actually found out tonight that someone moved in today

so not only do they have our money but now there are tenants living there when we have a lease

Posted in Landlord Tenant Law.

3 Comments

  1. This has gone beyond Demand Letters – you must file a police report, as this is robbery and fraud. Check w/Legal Aid about your remedies. You may have to bring this “landlord” before a small claims court. Print up the Ad from Craigslist – showing date, for evidence.

  2. Definitely a scam. I have found that Craigslist is a hot bed for those kind of situations. He probably doesn’t even own that apartment, just advertises it on CL and has been collecting a deposit from other unsuspecting renters.
    I know this because I tried to advertise a rental on CL and after I removed it, another person captured the information and pictures and was advertising it at a much lower rent. I could not track them down but did get contacted by other people who wanted to rent this at this unbelievably low rent.
    Good luck – I don’t know how you are going to get your money back without taking legal action.

  3. I recommend that you file a criminal complaint against this person with The Local District Attorney’s Office.

    This sounds like a fraudulent scheme to get rent and security deposits on a property that is not available.

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