View Poll Results: Have you had bad service from an estate agent?

14. This poll is closed
  • Yes

    11 78.57%
  • No

    3 21.43%
Results 1 to 5 of 5


  1. #1
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    Aug 2010
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    A year ago I and my family relocated to Pretoria to start a new life here. I rented a house from one of the prominent real estate agents in Pretoria East “Micheline Van Der Linde” Real Estate. When we inspected the house, it was in a horrible condition; dirty carpets, dirty walls, untidy garden, rubbish in the garage from the previous leaser and most of the globes in the house were defective. I asked the owner of the agency, Micheline Van Der Linde if they were going to clean the carpets and she indicated that it will be done by the time we move in. So we signed the contract and the contract stated we have to get a professional company to wash the carpets when we move out again, which is reasonable. So on the day we arrived with our furniture we were met by a house in the same horrendous condition as two weeks ago. Unfortunately we had to move in seeing that we had already vacated our house in Nelspruit and paid our deposit for this house. Micheline stated that the carpets have been washed. My first impression of her and her company has been disappointing and it didn’t make it easier that she was so uncooperative. She did not even come to the house and look at the problems I complained about. Old filter in the extractor fan above the stove was brown not one piece of the filter was its original white. The toilet leaked as well, she never send anybody out after promising to do so. Our garden had two trees in it that has grown too big so the owner decided to have it cut. While we were at work they decided to cut it without warning us that our child sitter and baby need to make sure they are not close to the living room area if the trees fall against the house. Well it did break the roof side panels and they were forced to fix it after I complained numerous times. What bothers me is that Micheline never informed us that they were going to cut it down. The list can go on and on about the level of service my family received from her. So we couldn’t wait to get the contract year over and to find another place where service is an integral part of a real estate agent business. So we moved out and had a week to go on our contract, got a company to clean the carpets and those dirty stains on the carpets I complained about had still not disappeared but you could actually see the carpets true colour . I and my wife worked hard to clean the rest of the house and have it in a better condition than we found it in. Micheline said she wanted the keys to the house so the next leaser could move in, I said but I still have a week to go on the contract. She said the other leaser needs to move in and that it would help the leaser a lot. I gave Micheline the keys and asked when she and I were going to have inspection and she said she would let me know, that never happened, she did it without my presence. Now I waited for my deposit to be refunded. I received a phone call from her assistant stating that there is no curtain rings in the house and I replied, I know because I bought them when I moved in and she said “Oh, I didn’t know”. After 18 days I phoned Micheline Van der Linde Estate Agents and spoke to her assistant and asked her assistant when they are going to pay our deposit back. She phoned me back and said Micheline doesn’t have our bank details, which was stated on our contract. So if I didn’t phone they wouldn’t have paid it over. So 4 days later I get a sms and it was my bank saying my deposit was paid in, but the amount was R980 less than what I paid them. So I phoned and asked why was that R980 deducted, the assistant replied it was for “General cleaning”. I said I would like a copy of the invoice and the photos they took, she e-emailed me a WORD document that was typed by her and it stated R980 was deducted for cleaning, and one photo of the inside of the oven with grime on and one photo of the same stain on the dirty carpet I complained about. The oven was truly my mistake and we did not clean that but I was dumb trucked that I received no invoice and them taking a photo of the carpet. I phoned the assistant and told her I’m coming to collect the invoice personally and look at the “other” photos. I got a handwritten quote stating “General cleaning and carpets R980”. The “other” photos were leaves that were blown in by the wind into the open garage, dust on the outside window silks and one tiny hand mark on the wall of my baby’s room. So that means I paid R980 to clean the oven on the inside.
    Afterwards I found out the next tenant moved in two weeks after my contract expired and yet I wasn’t given the option to wipe the wall and clean the oven. Micheline hasn’t returned my phone calls and has no interest in my disappointment in her and her company. The assistant said if I’m unhappy with the price I can phone the company who cleaned it and ask discount on their services rendered.

    I can’t complain about the level of service I received from MICHELINE VAN DER LINDE because there is no service. I wouldn’t advise anybody to make use of her so called services.
    Last edited by jl082; 22-Aug-10 at 10:15 AM. Reason: Heading Change

  2. #2
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Thanked 61 Times in 52 Posts

    complain to estate agency board

    crap service as you experienced is just not acceptable. this should be taken up with the appropriate estate agency board.
    a posting on hellopeter with also assist prospective persons looking for kosher estate agents in that area.

  3. #3
    Full Member greghsa's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Thanked 13 Times in 11 Posts
    Have had great success with hellopeter ( I was contacted within two days of the complaint. Hope you're story has a happy ending and you have found a decent place to rent.

  4. #4
    Gold Member Mark Atkinson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Melbourne, Australia
    Thanked 150 Times in 117 Posts
    Blog Entries
    Is it possible to edit that post? Paragraphs are wonderful things...

    On topic now, it really is shocking that people can run a "business" with a complete disregard for customer service like that. Is there some sort of regulatory board for Estate agents? I'd love to see her lose her license/be shut down altogether.

    It really is infuriating when you have to deal with businesses who don't seem to pay any attention to customer service. In this day and age, it's perhaps the most important aspect of running a successful business.

    As flaker and greghsa have pointed out, is fantastic for creating awareness about and getting a response from troublesome companies. I'd tend to think that it's only effective for the bigger names out there, but who knows, give it a bash. I had great success when trying to get something out of those numb-skulls at MTN.

    I really do hope your situation gets resolved and that you have found yourself a decent place to stay in now. Good luck.

  5. #5
    Gold Member garthu's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Thanked 65 Times in 55 Posts
    Estate agency affairs board

    Bit of toothless dogs but worth a bash. Where you will have the agency is on the deposit refund and invoices etc. Trust money is a dangerous thing and they should have refunded much faster

    The rest of the complaints is all contractual dispute etc.. wish you luck and quite honestly seldom worth the years headache you will put yourself through.

    A tip for all getting involved - ALWAYS in writing.The carpets and cleaning of the house by professionals should have been mentioned on the agreement with a date, by who, exactly needs to be done, and who is paying. Also make the agreement "subject to".

    Something like "This agreement is subject to Owner having the carpets professionally cleaned at the owners expense by no later than 1 may 2000"

    That way if it doesn't happen,you can move out and on. If the agreement is "subject to" or a suspensive condition and all the correct notifications are sent you would not be in breach of contract.. Of course they would make you believe different, but thats the way it is. It can get ugly, follow the advice at your risk!

    My disclaimer bit.... always seek legal advice!

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