Inland Empire News

Property company swindles woman out of $200

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Roberta Peavie thought the search to rent her dream home was over when she saw an ad in the local PennySaver.

But soon after spotting the ad, the San Bernardino woman's hunt for a new home turned into a nightmare.

"It was too good to be true," Peavie said. "Three bedrooms, two baths for $1,075, $500 down. So, of course I went for it."

Peavie said she contacted the Ontario company - Access Property Services and Rentals - and was told she needed to put $200 down to secure the home.

"I rushed to their office to bring them $200 thinking they would assist me in getting this particular property," she said. "When I arrived, it's a whole different story. It's, 'No, $200, we'll run your credit and give you a list of properties' that they probably have nothing to do with."

Three days later. Peavie still had no word on her move-in date. Her repeated calls were met with excuses.

It wasn't until she actually went to the home, saw a sign and called the real property management company, Allied Pacific, that she got a straight answer.

"They actually informed me that access had nothing to do with this house, no affiliation with the owner, the property, nothing," Peavie said. "They didn't even have keys for me to see the place."

Repeated calls to Access Property Services and Rentals for a response have not been returned.

Officials with the California Department of Real Estate, which governs real estate licensing activities in the state, said while Access Property is licensed as a business in the city of Ontario, it is not licensed with the state. Because it has no state license, it cannot collect the up-front $200 fee.

The Ontario Police Department said they are aware of Access Property Services but because it's a matter of $200, it's considered a civil case rather than a criminal one.

In order for Peavie to file a case for restitution, she would have to file a $240 civil lawsuit against the company, so it's not worth it.

"I am chalking it as a $200 lesson," Peavie said. "Do your homework first."

(Copyright ©2014 KABC-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)

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Tags:
san bernardino county, fraud, real estate, inland empire news, leticia juarez
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