DAVIS — Dozens of University of California, Davis exchange students have been paying rent to a company called WeHousing only to find out their money never got to property management.
Some of those students say they are still waiting for their security deposits back, with some totaling more than $3,000.
Many say they have called the founder of WeHousing and sent emails but there has still been no response.
Jong Seok Han is an exchange student at UC Davis and is originally from Korea. He’s one of more than 100 UC Davis students relying on WeHousing, a company that helps students find housing across the United States.
“I felt the trust because it’s like an Asian company,” he said.
Han said he was staying at a Davis apartment but decided to switch over his lease. When he went to get back his $1,300 security deposit from WeHousing, he was told by staff that it wasn’t there.
“When I found someone to take over my lease and he deposited his security deposit but I didn’t get my security deposit back,” he explained.
Paul Doroshov with the Davis Police Department said since the beginning of the year, several students started complaining about the company’s failure to pay rent to property management, with eviction notices popping up on their doors and security deposits going missing.
“I know that they went through WeHousing, which is sort of an intermediary, I guess it’s one-stop shopping for housing. And my understanding is that at some point, WeHousing stopped paying rents or at least were only paying partial rents,” Doroshov said.
Doroshov said students started to call Davis police when they received emails saying they have to pay rent that they say had already been paid.
“It’s kind of a sad situation,” Doroshov said. “We have a lot of students that are basically kind of don’t know what to do next and on top of all the school anxiety, they have to now deal with this.”
While some students like Han said it may not be worth taking legal action, he’s hoping others in his shoes will think twice before looking for student housing here in the United States.
Police say it’s unclear if this will be investigated as either a criminal or civil ordeal.
FOX40 reached out to the founder of WeHousing but we have not heard back yet.