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Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Craigslist Real Estate Scam - 731 Waddell Avenue - Key West

This is a Special Blog to warn potential renters about an Active Craigslist Real Estate Scam on 731 Waddell Avenue in Key West.  I received a phone call early Monday evening from a woman who found a too good to be true nightly rental of $400 advertised as "This home provides the privacy you desire during your vacation. The kitchen is well equipped to cook your meals,the 4 bedrooms are great with flat screen TVs, and a lush garden is also available within the environ." Photos were submitted to the prospective renter are displayed below.
 A prospective renter exchanged a series of emails with a person identified as "Gary".  I have copied one of Gary's emails below:
"This home is available for your dates Nov 1-7, a night rate is $400, 6 nights will total $2,400, other rental fees include a cleaning fee of $150 and a property damage fee of $600 totaling $3,150.

If you are satisfied with the rental rates do write back so additional pictures of the home and other necessary home details can be made available for you. Also do provide your email so the home details can be sent to you.

Gary. "

None of the three above photos was taken at 731 Waddell Avenue. I know this because I have photographed the interior and exterior on at least two occasions. The real kitchen is shown below.

Private homes, condominiums, and town homes located in Key West may only be rented on a nightly basis if they have a transient rental license.  Very few properties in Key West have a transient rental license. Also be aware that the scam artists are using other sites to dupe potential renters.

My suggestion to guests who are planning a vacation trip to Key West, call a licensed real estate professional.  Most of the large real estate companies in Key West have property management divisions. And whatever you do, do not wire money or use your credit card of Paypal account to transfer money to someone other than a licensed and verifiable property manager. 

1 comment:

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Gary Thomas in a Nutshell

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Key West, Florida, United States
I first read about Key West in a magazine called "After Dark" sometime in the mid 1970's. But it wasn't until March 1984 that I made my first visit to the island that would become my home. I had two weeks for a vacation and reserved a room at Colours Guesthouse (now Marrero's Guest House) for one week. I thought that if I didn't like Key West, I could always go back to Miami or Ft. Lauderdale for the rest of my trip. But after a couple of days in Key West, that was no longer a consideration. But when I wanted to extend my stay for the extra week I found there was no room at the inn. The guesthouse owner did find me a room at LaTeDa, the infamous guesthouse/restaurant. That's a story I'll write another day. But those two weeks in Key West gave me the realization that I had found Paradise. Key West has been my home since 1993 and my only regret is that it took me so long to get here. I am a full time Realtor at Preferred Properties CRI. Let me help you find your new home or business in Paradise. Living in Paradise is not a slogan, it's a way of life.