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Real estate disputes arise in Worcester rental market


Amidst the exciting opportunities to buy and sell residential real estate here in Worcester, some people forget that many local residences are actually rental properties. While some people choose to rent due to busy schedules and transient lifestyles, others enjoy owning rental properties as a way to build equity in non-primary residence properties.

The relationships between property owners and renters can sometimes become acrimonious and can lead to serious real estate disputes. For some owners, problems with renters may not become apparent until after the renters move out.

A Worcester couple discovered that their former renters had taken advantage of them when they visited their property and discovered that the tenants had moved out. The couple had originally located their tenants through Craigslist and had agreed to trade rental payments for repairs when the tenants offered to do some needed house work on their own. When the couple failed to receive any payments from the tenants, they went to the property to see what had happened.

What they discovered was that the tenants had re-rented the property to a new party under the guise that the tenants were the actual owners. Their former tenants had also failed to perform the agreed-to work and left the home in shambles.

Scams like this are unfortunately not unusual and affect individuals seeking to rent out their properties as well as those who desire to find respectable rental homes. Real estate agents in the area have noted that they have had rental properties impacted by this practice in the past and that the culprits prey on people desperate to find homes.

While this is an extreme example of problems arising between property owners and renters, other issues can arise regarding lease disputes and technicalities actually related to rental agreements. Some individuals may feel more comfortable having legal professionals review their rental agreements prior to signing in order to vet their contents for potentially problematic clauses.

Source: Worcester Magazine, "Scammed: One Worcester family's devastating account of renting to the wrong people," Barbara Taormina, Sept. 26, 2013

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