Mother of five house-less after rental isn't ready for move-in - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Mother of five house-less after rental isn't ready for move-in

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SPOKANE, Wash. -

A mother is left staying with friends or in hotel rooms after she says the rental property she was supposed to move in is unlivable.

Kelly Bartkowiak started looking for a place for her and her five kids last year. She found a post on Craigslist that matched her budget for rent and also had enough space for her family. She reached out and got a call from the property manager.

Kelly says at first everything seemed okay. She saw the property several times. He told her he was fixing up the house and that it would be ready for when she moved in on January 1. She signed the lease and paid $3,000. But then, she says even though she has the keys now, she can’t live in the home.

“I came here and opened the door and there was nothing in here,” Kelly says. “No electricity to plug in, nowhere to cook.”

Kelly says she tried reaching out to the property manager. “Gave me story after story,” she says. “I finally said I need my money back.”

But now, Kelly says, the property manager isn’t returning her calls or messages.

The company she signed a lease with is ECA Properties. It’s listed on the Better Business Bureau and the page says there are two government action items against the company and it has an F rating from the BBB.

KHQ did try calling the company to get answers, but there was no answer and no response. KHQ also went out to the address listed on the business license but it’s someone else’s house. At this time, there has been no response from the company.

Kelly doesn’t know what to do at this point since she’s already switched her kids’ schools to places here in Spokane.

If you need resources dealing with your landlord, you can visit this website: http://spokanecares.org/landlord-tenant-rights-spokane.php

Kelly’s case is different from most. But the BBB says anytime you’re looking for housing online, you should look out for red flags. Kirstin Davis, marketplace director for BBB Northwest, says the most common way people get tricked is through email.

For more advice: https://www.bbb.org/en/us/article/news-releases/16908-bbb-tip-rental-scam

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