Columbus landlord rents same house twice

Columbus landlord rents same house twice

She paid her first month's rent and a security deposit, and when the landlord gave her a key, she expected to move in immediately.

But when Anita Anderson opened the door, she discovered another family had already moved in.

"I knocked on the door, and I told them that was our house. They were surprised, and the guy said, 'no it's not,'" Anderson said. 

Dartanga Foster at the Valleybrook Drive address and he recalled the encounter.

"I'm in your house? It felt kind of weird. I mean, I didn't want to hurt her feelings or say anything out of the way," Foster said. 

That's when Anderson decided she was the victim of a scam.

After checking with the Better Business Bureau, she found other complaints made against Mr. Saturday Ologhoejebi and his company, Checker Properties. She took him to court for the more than $1,000 she paid him, and a judge ordered him to give it back, but according to Anderson, she hasn't received any money.

"I called him after court, and I told him that I'm ready. He told me, don't call me anymore. He's not giving any money back, no lease to the house, and no key to the house," Anderson said.

Both tenants are of the opinion that this was not a misunderstanding and the landlord did this on purpose.

Edward Hudson, a Hatcher Stubbs attorney specializing in real estate law, talked about if there is anything a potential tenant can do to protect themselves. He said looking for complaints or bad reviews on the internet is not a guarantee, especially if the landlord is working under a new or different name.

"I would go to a good real estate company and ask, because they're generally going to have a good feel for the landlords around town, and tell you who you can talk to and feel comfortable dealing with," Hudson said.

He said while real estate agents usually sell houses as opposed to renting them, people in that profession are generally in the know when it comes to which landlords are reputable and which aren't.

We went to the landlord's home in Columbus, hoping to get an answer from him directly. But the man who came to the door claimed he wasn't home.

Mr. Saturday Ologhoejebi did answer a phone call, but we were unable to ask him any questions because he would not listen or address the issue. Both sets of tenants will be in court again Dec. 16 to hear a judge's final resolution.

Anderson said she and her family lived in motels until they found a different landlord who was kind enough to let her move in now and pay later.

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