In New York City, the rental market can seem a lot like the black market. Renters are accustomed to feeling hustled, fleeced, and generally at the mercy of predatory forces beyond their control — and that’s when everything goes O.K. In this forest of stunted expectations, it can be tough to distinguish the sharp-elbowed fauna from the truly corrupt, a circumstance that has long enabled scam artists to thrive here. This year, moreover, the busy spring-summer rental season is unfolding in a time of falling rental prices, which means too-good-to-be-true deals — the con artist’s calling card — seem more credible than they have in recent years.
By Terri Karush Rogers, June 28, 2009, NYT

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