A major real estate company has come under fire for its property management service in a column in a national newspaper recently.
In the Australian Financial Review (AFR) on Wednesday, journalist and property tenant Rebecca Thistleton wrote an opinion piece detailing her experience with a Victorian real estate group, calling the treatment she received “dodgy”.
In the half page story she explains in length about living in a rat-infested apartment.
“When my flatmate and I first heard rats in our rental apartment roof, we were disgusted,” she wrote in the AFR.
“Realising the unit was infested and the vermin section of the lease condition report was incomplete made us angry.
“As a property reporter, I find that most agents I deal with enjoy doing their jobs correctly. Signing tenants into a one-year contract for a home that is “rat infested” – a direct quote from the pest controller – is what I call dodgy. He reckons our infestation is the worst he has seen in his 12 years of pest control.
“Normally the rats wake us between 3am and 5am. But after the roof is baited, the pheromone-laced baits attract the rats and spark a three-day “feeding frenzy” in the ceiling, and it is hard to sleep at all.
Whilst the company or property manger was never named, Ms Thistleton did allude to the location of the property.
“… We walked in to the real estate agency – one of the biggest in Victoria – and hand-delivered our 28 days’ notice,” she wrote.
“More than a week later, this has not been acknowledged. We face penalties for breaking the lease, a house hunt over the Christmas and New Year periods, and can’t book holidays.
“Repeat meeting requests and pleas to negotiate an early escape from the lease went ignored, as was a letter to the chief executive of the real estate agent. I recently shook the man’s hand at a Christmas function and politely let him know that we were still deeply miserable in our townhouse in Caulfield South, Melbourne.”
She closed the opinion piece by saying, “Investment properties are also people’s homes. I hope our property manager keeps that in mind before signing on another hapless tenant into months of sleepless nights.”