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I permanently moved to Spain in September and rented a one apartment through a Russian agency. I never met the Russian owner who I was told lives in Canada. A woman from the agency signed in his name and I paid cash for the monthly rental, deposit of one month, and agency fee. I put the bills in my name. A weird thing is that one of the rooms was locked but having seen this in my country, this didn't bother me.

Everything was fine until this month when I wanted to pay the rent. I contacted the agency and they said that the owner's bank account was blocked and that he will come in Spain to open a new one. Yesterday the owner contacted me by email. His name in the contract is Viacheslav but in the email he presented himself as Slava (probably his nickname). He sent me identical messages from different email accounts with the first one using his last name and the second one using his middle name. He said that he wants to talk to me when it is more convenient. I would I like to talk over the phone or email. I said that he can email me today or call me tomorrow.

I feel that I might be a victim of some kind of a scam. I am looking forward to his reply. In the meantime, has anyone had similar problems or heard of similar problems?

  • If the owner opens a new bank account, should I insist on a new contract or if possible, should I change the existing one?
  • If the owner comes in Spain and wants me to pay in cash, what should I do?
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Hard to say with the information you have. Yes you need to be careful and watch out.

Owners not in country is common these days and they employ agencies. Insisting on cash in itself is not necessary a scam, could be tax evasion or safety factor.

Find out from the government office the ownership of apartment if possible. Not sure about Spain, but in few countries it is searchable

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