SPRINGFIELD, Mo. A Springfield landlord who's had several of his properties condemned is relying more on social media and online applications to find people to rent his properties.
Some perspective renters said that 417 Rentals, owned by Chris Gatley, isn't posting actual pictures of their rentals online.
"Through social media and other postings, I feel like, they know what they're doing. I feel like they're deliberately defrauding people of their money," said Lonnie Henderson.
Shanonn Wehde said, "Facebook Marketplace has allowed him another venue in which to sucker people."
She isn't confident about looking for rentals online.
"I used to do Craigslist a lot but there's a lot of scams. So I quit looking at Craiglist," said Wehde.
A friend told her about a house for rent near her.
"She says you've got to see this house. It's on Facebook Marketplace too and it looks nothing like it. You walk in and it's just unreal. Unreal, the condition this house is in," explained Wehde.
The condition of the house is bad that the city tagged it as a dangerous building months ago.
Wehde did a quick search of the address on the county assessors website and learned it was owned by Chris Gatley, managed by 417 Rentals.
"They say they make it look pretty darn impressive when they rent them," said Henderson.
He said he ran into the same problem when looking at 417 Rentals' listings online.
"Most of their photos they have listed of their properties are back dated from 2008 and 2010," he said.
Harrison told managers at 417 Rentals he's not interested in their properties. However he said that they are relentlessly contacting him for business.
"We're being blown up by their emails now to the point where I'm being harassed. I'm ready to file a suit against them," he said.
Wehde, said, "What's sad is it's people who are desperate, down on their luck. He preys on them.
They want to warn prospective renters.
"This is a social media site that's nationwide. There people who are not local are not aware of the situation with Gatley and his properties," said Wehde.
"Once I found out who they were and looked into them I did not want to rent from them period," said Henderson.
Wehde said, "This is not someone you really want to rent from."
There aren't any specific guidelines for listing safe and clean properties on Facebook Marketplace.
We have reached out to the social media site for clarification and how to report complaints for rental listings but am waiting to hear back.