Orlando man says he paid rent to fake homeowner for months, now might have to move out
ORLANDO, Fla. - Isaac Aviles, 19, was relieved to finally find a rental home he could afford.
But a couple of weeks ago, the home's real owner told him he's been paying the wrong person, and he might need to get out.
Aviles was paying $1,200 for the three-bedroom house in Orlando.
He says he found it on Zillow, paying a man he spoke to on the phone, but hasn't met in person.
"I just know like what his name was that he gave me, but it doesn’t seem to match up with anything," Aviles said.
After paying the man rent for three months, Aviles got a letter on his door, saying that man isn't the owner.
The company that does own it has the home on its website, saying the rent is twice as much.
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Aviles might still be able to stay there if he is approved and can afford it.
FOX 35 called the person Aviles has been paying to ask about that specific house.
The man asked how soon we wanted to move in, but hung up after hearing our questions about who owns the house.
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Orlando realtor Mateo Reza tells FOX 35 rental fraud has become more common, with so many vacant homes owned by large firms and so much competition from renters.
"People are desperate to find a rental property, because rents have increased so much that it is really difficult for them to afford rent here in Central Florida," Reza said.
Reza recommends searching homes on multiple sites to see if there are different owners, or checking the county assessor's website.