Some renters say they are misled while looking for perfect place

Posted: Updated:

PHOENIX - They found it online, a four-bedroom northwest Phoenix home for rent for $516 a month.

The only thing better than the price, Howard Reda says, was the home itself.

“The price was great,” he said. “And when you saw the pictures it was enough to make your heart throb.”

When Howard and his wife saw the home in person, they immediately called the number on the sign in the front yard, and that's when their excitement ended.

“Mr. McKeever told us no, the home is not for rent. It’s for sale so yeah, it kind of burst the bubble you know,” Howard said.

Chris McKeever is the exclusive realtor for this property.

He e-mailed 3 On Your Side after receiving more than a dozen calls from people like Howard who'd driven by the property after seeing it advertised for rent by a website called HomeStartAZ.com.

To be clear the home is only for sale, not for rent.

“I wasn't sure what they were trying to accomplish by this, or they were just trying to mislead the consumer into something else and do a bait and switch I really wasn't sure,” Chris said.

3 On Your Side has heard from countless consumers concerned about whether they are being scammed when they go to rent a house.

Since so many people are looking to rent, and often need to find a place fast, they turn to the internet, and that can lead to problems if you don't know who you are dealing with.

“It kinda stinks,” Howard said.

Howard and his wife did the right thing by calling the number on the sign out front and double checking this so-called great deal before handing over any money.

3 On Your Side contacted HomeStartAZ.com.

In a statement, it the owner writes:

“Home Start helps many Valley renters realize the dream of homeownership, often with monthly mortgage payments that are lower than their current rent.  Home Start purchases hundreds of home [sic] in bulk for its programs.  In dealing with volume purchases through banks and trustees, sometimes clerical errors occur that are beyond our control.  In this particular instance, as soon as the error was brought to our attention, the listing was corrected.”