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Stay away from this apartment rental


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#1
Bailey Essrog

Bailey Essrog
My six-month stay in Buenos Aires ended on a bad note this past Tuesday when I was scammed out  of the deposit for the apartment I had been renting for three months  starting in August. The apartment owner's name is Valeria de Santos and  the unit in question is located in Recoleta,  at Larrea 1393 at the corner of French, apartment #PB2. I found it on  Craiglist and jumped at the chance to live in a nice area for a relative  bargain, though in hindsight renting through an agency or through a referral may have been  the smarter way to go.

    I had told Valeria that I needed to check out at noon because a cab  would be waiting to take me to the airport. She arrived late with her  mother and inspected the apartment to make sure it was in good order (it  was). Valeria said that my deposit was waiting for me at her mother's  office, which was supposedly just a few blocks away, off of Pueyrredon  and Santa Fe.  She asked if her mother could get in the cab with me and get dropped  off by her office where she would retrieve the deposit and return it to  me.

    I had dealt directly with the mother before when I first occupied the  apartment so I didn't find her suggestion odd. But I now realize that I  made a number of mistakes. First, I returned the keys to Valeria before  getting my deposit back. Secondly, I let my guard down and didn't think  to accompany her mother to the "office" after we dropped her off at the  corner, opting instead to wait for her in the cab with my luggage.

    The mother disappeared down the street and never returned. I waited  45 minutes and called Valeria a dozen times before telling the driver  that we needed to leave because I couldn’t miss my flight. I called her  numerous times at the airport and e-mailed her with no response. I was  finally able to reach her Wednesday, when she assured me that she would  wire the funds to me via PayPal that same day. Well, it didn't come  through, and I've been calling and e-mailing her since with no luck. My  messages to her have gotten angrier and angrier to the point where I  threatened to hop on a plane the next day and come looking for her --  which I would be crazy enough to do if I was confident I could track her  down.

    The strange thing is that Valeria and her mother were a pleasure to  deal with during my three-month stay in the apartment, responding to my  calls and e-mails and showing up to address any problems promptly. It's  bizarre that they would pull something like this off at the very end.

    I'll continue to call and e-mail and harass Valeria and her mother in  any way I can until I get my money back, and perhaps I'll find myself  in Buenos Aires sooner than I think. But for now, I'd just like to  defame her on every relevant forum I can find and bring awareness to  what I went through. Hopefully you'll learn from my mistakes.

    Here are a bunch of recent Craigslist listings for the apartment in question:
  …craigslist.org/roo/1998504442.html
  …craigslist.org/sub/1998498417.html
  …craigslist.org/sub/1998150201.html

    Here is a website for an apparent concierge service Valeria runs in Buenos Aires:
  http://www.buenosairesguest.com/

    Here's a headshot of what she looks like:
  http://www.buenosair...m/about-us.html

#2
frenchie

frenchie
Pretty usual scam I'd say.

But since you seem legit', I've got good news, you are likely to get your deposit back, really quickly !

How ?

Plain and simple : No need to send her dozens of emails, have HER send you dozens of emails to tell you she IS going to send you back the deposit.
Threaten to report her to the local IRS : AFIP

http://www.afip.gov.ar/contacto/

Centro de denuncias : 0800-999-2347


I am sick and tired of those usual scams with the deposits (happened to me and I know how to defend myself... In the end the owner lost... a lot... believe me).

Tell her to visit this thread and if she does not comply, report her !
And two days after, I'll report her as well !
And other forum members are welcome to report her the following days as well !

You will see : SHE will get in touch with you real quickly.
That's the only way to deal with this, period.

#3
Lee

Lee
Thanks for the heads up about this person. It is the only way to save others from the fate that you encountered!

Our first trip here we encountered a similar situation and lost a lot of money.

Unfortunately this sort of thing happens everywhere that tourists go and the only way to combat it is with information as you have done.

Best of luck!
"This is your life and it's ending one minute at a time." - Fight Club

#4
nativexpat

nativexpat
What a sinvergüenza! :eek:  Sorry to hear that...

(buen consejo, French Jurist!) Hope you get your money back ASAP.

#5
AkBill

AkBill
I lost the deposit on the first apartment I rented here, it's a terrible feeing.. just try and take the positives and learn from it. Before that I was the stupidest most naive touristy type you could imagine and since then I havn't been scammed again, so it was worth it.

One thing I would never do is tell the apartment owner your what time your plane leaves. Then they know they just have to screw you around and hold out until this time and you will have no choice but to leave.  I always check out a day or so before my flight then stay in a nice hotel as a 'reward' for surviving another few months in this crazy place

#6
Bradly

Bradly
Well, all I can say is: Holy crap.

You're not the only they scammed. I rented the same place last year. I found the place on Craigslist as well, and I moved in out of complete desperation because I needed a place to put my luggage before heading out for the weekend to Sao Paulo.

I was an idiot, and I never signed a contract. I signed this piece of receipt paper, and that was that. I gave her the $250 or $200 deposit, and that was it. (Posted it about it on this forum..) I never thought about it until I ran into someone in the building.

One day, a woman stopped me in the building, and told me to be careful. The woman in the building told me that the property owners had scammed a guy out of his money. The mother had apparently told the guy that she had to go to her office to get the deposit, and never came back. He had a set of keys, but she had locked the top lock of the door, to which he didn't have a key to open. He was supposedly jacked of his deposit.

I told the women thank you for her advice, and I started investigating this on my own. The first month the bills come in, and the bills are all in a different name and everything is delinquent. She was like $6,000 ARS behind on building expenses. So, she was hard up for cash. They were also refusing to fix my air conditioner. I was pretty much roasting in the place for less than a month. They never did fix it.

I ended up leaving to the United States early for Christmas, and I just left the keys in the mailbox. I posted a message here last year about my legal obligations if they refused to fix my air conditioner. I ended up leaving last minute, so none of it ever mattered. (I forfeited the deposit.)

Now that they are advertising the apartment again... and I'm in Buenos Aires... I think I might amuse myself.

#7
AkBill

AkBill
yes!! baexpats forum justice..we should coordinate a plan to completey fu**ck these people

#8
mini

mini
Don't forget to post about this also in other places like TripAdvisor and (well, I can only think of TripAdvisor right now). ;)

It seems it's time to turn this chick in!

#9
Bradly

Bradly
This from the whois of her website:

  Florencia Marina Daud (discoverba@hotmail.com)
   +1.5411480527
   Fax:
   Av Pueyrredon 2261
   Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires 1119
   AR

That name I recognize from all of the bills in the apartment. Both of them used aliases. Valeria was Veronica. And the Mom was Maria Eugenia or something...

#10
frenchie

frenchie
Furthermore, besides the fact this girl likely doesn't pay taxes, helps making Argentina's reputation bad, there's something she does that is not about money :
Screwing up the nice memories you were about to leave Argentina with...

Sucks big time. Anyway, give her the link to the thread and if she's not stupid she will contact you asap, and might learn to behave herself in the future.

In any case please tell us what succeeded, thanks




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