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Real Estate

Two real estate agents caught behaving badly

Two different towns, same alleged rental scam

Going into the weekend, HousingWire is bringing you two stories of real estate agents (allegedly) behaving badly.

The first is out in Missouri City, Texas, where police are investigating claims the Halls family hired a Realtor to sell their home, only to have her take ownership and start leasing out the property, according to this article in KHOU11.

But here’s the catch: the family doesn’t think the person who approached them to sell the house is a real estate agent at all, much less a Realtor.

Nonetheless the “real estate agent” took control of the title, placed an ad on Craigslist and tried to lease the property.

From the article:

KHOU 11 News looked up that supposed realtor's name with the Texas Real Estate Commission and no records were found.

The Halls have since hired Scheketta Lawson, a legitimate realtor, to help them sort through this mess.

"It's a big time scam," said Lawson. "She used different names. One name she gave my client and another name she uses on social media."

The second case is from the Hamptons, and while the real estate agent is real, the rental scam is pretty much the same.

From local Patch coverage:

According to Southampton Town Police, on Feb. 11, Southampton Town Police received two complaints regarding a real estate agent taking deposits for a rental home in Hampton Bays.

The prospective tenants provided a deposit to the agent and were promised a date to move in but, when the move-in date approached, both people were told the rental was still not available, police said.

Additional victims came forward to the police department's detective division, police said, and on April 29, the agent, Melanie Williams, 54, of Manorville, was charged with three counts of fourth degree grand larceny and three counts of first degree scheme to defraud.

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