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Burnaby landlord pulled bait-and-switch by swapping gorgeous furniture with ’70s trash before tenant moved in

Scammer landlord advertised with photos of lovely furniture that he knew wasn't staying
00 living room
This unit's living room isn't really a living room.

Have you ever looked at the Craiglist ads for “furnished” apartments in Burnaby?

Connor M. has and it wasn’t pleasant.

“I was moving to Burnaby from back east and wasn’t bringing my own stuff because I was going to school,” he said. “So I went looking at furnished apartments and basement suites and the furniture was complete garbage. I wasn’t asking for much, but this stuff looked like it was unusable and for the rent they are charging, I expected more.”

That’s when he suddenly noticed one basement suite in Burnaby Heights that was for rent that looked like it was part of a catalogue.

The place was fully stocked with a couch, armchair, loveseat, dining room table, desk lamps, end tables, coffee table and more. Even the linens on the best looked amazing.

So when Connor arrived in town with just his suitcases, he went on the tour of the home. The house was pretty old, early 1960s, and pretty dark but the furniture and nice appliances really sold him on it.

“I was lucky enough to convince the landlord to let me rent it out, but he said I couldn’t move in for another week as the previous tenant was still moving out,” Connor said.

Connor had to stay in a motel until it was time to move in. That’s when he arrived to find a shock.

The house was the same house but everything in it was different, Connor said.

“It wasn’t the same furniture,” he said. “There was barely even much furniture there. The place had been stripped down and replaced with 1970s trash. The couch smelled like it came from a landfill. All of the rugs had a moldy smell that filled the entire suite. I put something on the coffee table and one of the legs fell off.”

But it wasn’t just the furniture. Some of the new appliances – including a refrigerator – were gone with old versions in their place.

“I flipped out on the guy,” Connor said. “I’m like, ‘this isn’t what was here when I saw the place’ and the landlord said the furniture was the previous tenant’s stuff and they took it with them when they moved out. I’m was just standing there with my mouth open because at no point did he tell me that this wasn’t what I would be getting.”

One problem is the lease just says “furnished” and does not detail what furniture would be there.

Connor had already spent enough money on a hotel that I didn’t have much choice but to move in.

“I tried negotiating a lower rent because of this, but he told me to take it or leave it. I was stuck.”

Connor is still mulling over his options and is already looking for a new place to live.

Follow Chris Campbell on Twitter @shinebox44.