Legal Question in Civil Litigation in California

I used a "rental company" (and I use that term loosely because they do not actually assist in housing rentals at all; they're a scam company) without checking them out first. Even though my instincts repeatedly told me that things were fishy, I ignored the warning signs and went ahead with the company anyway. A few hours later, the bad feeling was still there and something seemed amiss, so I Yelped the company only to find one extremely negative review after the next, all claiming they had been ripped off.

The situation is that my husband was told to sign a document that he actually did not read. It pertained to a refund, stating that he was acknowledging receipt of three properties that fit our criteria. That had to do with a different document given us that my husband filled out; that contract read that if we were given at least three properties, then we were not due the full refund of $180 of the deposit but only $130.

Even though my husband signed off on the document stating that we did indeed receive the three properties that matched what we wanted, we didn't in actuality get three. We only got one. The other two did not fit the criteria; in fact, one was a completely false listing. We checked it out and the address to the so-called house was not real; it belonged to a cash advance business. We have proof of this as well.

So my question is, is this contract even valid considering my husband signed something that said he "agreed to the following," even though "the following" didn't even happen?

Asked on 5/11/13, 8:34 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Charles Perry Law Offices of Charles R. Perry

It's hard to say whether the contract is invalid, or whether the better theory is breach of a valid contract. The fact that your husband did not read the acknowledgment is irrelevant.

You are out between $50 and $180, which means your remedy is in small claims court if all you want to do is try to get your money back. If you want to go on a crusade and shut these people down, then you have a much bigger fight on your hands and need to hire an attorney to represent you. This will be time-consuming, and likely expensive.

If this is truly consumer fraud, you may wish to report it to your local District Attorney's office.

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Answered on 5/12/13, 1:43 am

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