"If you want the apartment you will have to do everything I tell you to do."
It all began when the potential tenant found a place that was posted by the landlord on Zillow. It was not published through the Multiple Listing Service or the MLS, so that person went on his own to meet the realtor and see his possible new home.
After liking what he saw, he filled out a thorough application that was 23 pages long! Usually, they are only two pages. The renter's realtor, Joe Biscaha, pointed out some pretty particular issues with this particular document.
He said the agent at the listing, Steven Grossman, has the applicants pay the $100 application fee to Grossman's personal number through Zelle, as stated on the application.
"REALTORS® shall keep in a special account in an appropriate financial institution, separated from their own funds, monies coming into their possession in trust for other persons, such as escrows, trust funds, clients’ monies, and other like items," states Article 8 in the Realtor Code Of Ethics.
This means personal and business funds shall be kept separate.
"It should always be to the brokerage name or the company, not made out to a personal agents account," Biscaha points out.
After his client's application got denied from the property, he received a unique response from the realtor.
"The process got off to a bad start. I looked you in the eyes and told you that if you want the apartment you will have to do everything I tell you to do, that is the way you get what you want," the email said.
Grossman continued to say they put his application in the garbage and the fact that the client hadn't provided any financials is the main reason the landlord did not approve them.
So, Biscaha, who constantly shares tips when looking for property in the South Florida real estate market, created a video that received over 212,500 views.
"I swear it's easier to get into college," one viewer wrote.
Other viewers commented that he should report this issue to the IRS and that it could be a scam.
Biscaha created another video saying he sees rental scams happen all the time and people getting taken advantage of with an application fee. So, he works closely to make sure that his clients can have a smooth apartment hunt.