Georgia (becomingun) wrote in bad_service,

Real Estate fail.

So, another suck from North Bay. I recently posted about crazy behaviour from a bus driver(which, by the way, was followed up by us writing to NB transit, and hand delivering the letter, but receiving NO response!).

Today is a real estate suck.

So I'm looking for an apartment/house with a girl in my program. We decided we want to live together, since we get along really well. Woo.

We put an ad on kijiji, the housing site that is most popular around here. The ad stated that we were two mature, clean, quiet female students looking to rent for a May 1st move-in. Simple, yes?

About a week after placing the ad, I received a call from a real estate agency with a house that perfectly met our requests(in a quiet neighbourhood, close to a bus route, no smoking). They told us we could come check the house out the next day.

We arrived, were taken to the house, and loved it. We told the woman touring us that we wanted to place an offer.

Up until now, everything is great. And it's ALL DOWNHILL from here.

She says okay, and that we will need someone to co-sign(we're both students, this is fine with us. I'm sure that every company has learned the hard way about students not paying rent). I tell her that my mother will do it. My mother emails the owner to get the details she needs, and this is what we get:

1. She is NOT ALLOWED to do the signing via teleconference or fax. She MUST do it in person, at the office. At first this is no problem for her. She says she'll come down on Saturday to do it. But:
2. He refuses to do business after five on weekdays, or at any point on weekends. This means my mother would have to take time off work to do this signing. She asks if anyone else from the company can supervise her signing on the weekend, since she has a demanding job. He refuses.
3. The fact that she lives five hours from North Bay means nothing to him. He even argues with her over how long it would take to drive up. He says it only takes four hours. Four hours each way, to sign a piece of paper. Besides, to quote him from an email he sent to her: "Recently I had a student from Mexico renting a property. His mother co-signed on the lease, and I insisted she fly from Mexico City to do it. Driving only four hours is surely not a problem for you!"

My mother reluctantly agrees to take a day off work(what would have been today) since she knows how much my friend and I love the house. She contacts me and says that the owner wants a deposit on the house by 5pm(his exact words were "as long as I receive your deposit by 5pm today, the house will be held until such time as your co-signer can sign the lease. Don't worry about a thing.") that day in order to hold it for us until she can come up. My classes end at 4, so I call them and confirm that I will have a deposit to them by no later then 4:30.

Flash-forward, it's 3:30, class has ended a little early, and my friend and I are just about to leave school to get the money and sign our part of the lease. My mother phones and reads me the following email:

"(insert my mother's name here), upon speaking with you today regarding housing for your daughter and her friend, I have changed my mind about the house. I was very disappointed that I did not receive a deposit from the girls, as I had been promised. Please inform the girls that I have rented the property to a more interested party."

I don't know if this officially counts, since nothing was signed, but shouldn't he have contacted me himself to inform me that there was another interested buyer? Shouldn't he have requested I bring the deposit earlier, rather then making me out to be the bad guy? After all, on the phone, he indicated that 4:30 was a perfectly acceptable time to bring the money. So telling my mother he's "disappointed to not receive our deposit" seems not only to be a total asshole move, but also highly inappropriate. I know he and my mother fought over the signing times(and I do blame her for aggravating him), but until then, he had only dealt with me, and our dealings had been nothing if not friendly and courteous. We were the ones he should have contacted, not her.

If I'm in the wrong here, please feel free to tell me so(fail macros and all, if need be!), but to me, this feels like a really dirty and underhanded way of doing business with students.

TLDR: My friend and I are contacted by a real estate agency(for those who are curious: Stanley Cerisano Real Estate Ltd Brokerage) about a house to rent. We love it and make an offer. Manager of agency proves to be a royal asshole unwilling to cooperate with the interests of anyone but himself. Violates the verbal agreement we made by renting the house out from under our feet without informing(or making any attempt to contact) me, and then makes my friend and I out to be dishonest in an email to my mother.

On another note, today we dealt with a different agency, and they went above and beyond to not only show us one nice apartment, but to find us a BEAUTIFUL space in a historic house that they thought would better suit us and our needs. I am amazed at how different two agencies on the same street can be. When I asked if my mother would have to drive up to co-sign, they said she only needed to if she wanted to see the place for herself(and they were more then happy to see her on a weekend!), but that otherwise, fax was a perfectly fine way of doing things.
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