I just moved to CA (just out of college). I answered an ad on Craigslist. I spoke with the lady who said the place was just wonderful, we could do organic gardening and my dog would love it there too. It has a fenced in yard. She sent me photos of a nice clean cottage. No outside photos. (Her ad did not have any photos on it). She said we had to pay her the whole month up front $2000 so I sent her the money. When I arrived, we found that she was a hoarder, the yard was disgusting. She refused to reimburse me. I had to find a hotel quickly. The cottage was still inhabited when I got there. Do I have a case? The cottage was not available till the next morning, but it sure didn't look like it would even be ready by the morning. She said if she rents it this month, she will prorate.
Sue the lady in small claims court to recover the money spent. It sounds like misrepresentation, as well as the property being occupied when you were to move in. If the other tenant was still there the day before you were to move in, it would be impossible to clean the place and make it habitable when the rental period was to start. You can sue for up to $10,000.00 in small claims court, with neither side having an attorney to represent them in the hearing.
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