The "Caretaker" scam, beware if you're a buyer....

I’ve become aware in recent weeks of a certain type of advanced scam that some former large scale developers are using.

I’m going to call this “The ‘Caretaker’ Scam”, and I don’t mean Caretaker meaning a person who repairs lights in the apartment hallways or who looks after repairs or other such things. I mean another type of legal caretaking arrangement.

The model of operation is more or less as follows.

  1. Developer has a large building that he cannot sell post the end of the Celtic fake Tiger and goes into Nama.

  2. Developer is appointed as a manager of the building by Nama.

  3. Developer finds out that he might be able to sell PART OF the building to someone, say some apartments, Parking Spaces, an office region, retail shop etc.

  4. Developer wants to sell but because Nama and/or the banks have deeds etc., he/she (let’s not forget Jackie :angry: ) arranges an interim deal with the want to be buyer, in this case he is to be called a “Caretaker” while things are sorted out between himself and with Nama and/or the banks.

  5. In certain cases these “Caretakers” are being asked to hand over funds, say about 10,000 euros or 20,000 euros in case for the benefit of securing the caretaking arrangement while the legalities of the actual sale/purchase are being sorted out with Nama and/or the banks.
    (Therein lies the scam)

  6. The Developer and / or the banks and/or stall on the legalities for whatever good or bad reason.

  7. The caretaker looses the securing funds.

I wanted to write this out and put it down in paper because I have come across this twice recently and wanted to take some action about it here since I haven’t seen it widely discussed.

Just mentioning this because I believe certain of these caretakers are getting caught out, along with more importantly, innocent tenants.

No problem telling you Barney G.
I came across this in two instances, one personal, one professional.

It’s not a scam. A caretaker agreement is one where rent is paid for a period of occupancy, but the rent is not market rent but a lower figure based on certain other services - typically on condition that significant improvements be carried out but occasionally on the basis that a sale is pending.

The person being offered this has a few options:

  1. accept the deal
  2. wait until the transfer is complete before taking occupation
  3. if they really want to move in before the sale is closed, they can rent at normal market rates on a normal lease.

Thanks for the input johnnyskeleton. Of course you are right that there are instances and situations where it does not turn out to be a scam, in just the same way that there are buildings in multiple occupancy where there is an effective management company and everyone is satisfied…

But Ireland is different and here, what was and should have originally been intentioned as a real and valid contract with basis can be manipulate by one or other of the parties to their exclusive benefit as I’ve mentioned earlier.

My input here is of a cautionary nature so that others can be aware of a possible danger.