Strangers constantly show up at occupied Durham home still listed for rent online

Diane Wilson Image
Friday, October 8, 2021
Strangers show up to occupied Durham home mistakenly listed for rent
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"Every weekend someone's showing up at the home," the woman living there said. "Nobody has done anything about it!"

DURHAM, N.C. (WTVD) -- When you rent a home, you expect that you will be able to enjoy it and not have people showing up looking to move in. However, a triangle family dealt with exactly that for months while living inside a Durham rental home.

Renter Latoria Dowdy lived in the rental home with her kids since March, but it hasn't been peaceful.

"Every weekend someone's showing up at the home." Dowdy said it's been potential renters and realtors both showing up looking at the place she's living.

She described one startling example: "She looked through the window and it scared me because she was like, 'Hi. I'm such and such. I'm a realtor. I was coming to show the home off.' And I said, 'No! The house is off the market."

WATCH: Raleigh family out $1,700 after scammer 'rents' them home on Zillow that he didn't own

The lease with MainStreet Renewal proves Dowdy is the tenant of the home, yet since March it has been listed on the MLS for rent with Dowdy's rental company.

"I called them since March 25, and nobody has done anything about it," Dowdy said.

Every time someone shows up, Dowdy calls MainStreet Renewal and the police.

"I'm afraid that somebody is going to come here, where they all don't think that the house has a renter and break-in."

After six months of dealing with it, Dowdy is fed up.

WATCH: Scam that uses fake ads to highlight real properties continues to trick renters in central NC out of hundreds of dollars

Clayton Police say they're investigating at least eight cases so far in 2020 in which scammers advertised rental properties they did not own, stole money from unsuspecting renters and left them without a place to stay.

"I don't know what else to do. I don't know who else to contact, so that's why I called you," she said to Troubleshooter Diane Wilson. Wilson got in touch with the corporate office of MainStreet Renewal who looked into it, and said it was a misunderstanding with the team locally.

The company then pulled the listing down and gave Dowdy a sign to put in her front yard to make sure everyone knows it's not for rent. Dowdy is happy she can now enjoy her rental without strangers showing up to look at the home

The local office of MainStreet Renewal did apologize to Dowdy. While this was not a scam, this is a good reminder if you're looking for a rental you need to be very careful. Scammers do duplicate rental listings and even homes that are listed for sale and offer them for much less to try and get your attention and money. Before paying anything, do your research to make sure the home is actually for rent.

WATCH: Durham mom thought she found dream rental home on Zillow. She was scammed out of hundreds