It’s actually been two weeks since my friend died and I’ve been working damn hard to finalise a lot of things on her behalf and clean out her flat. Unfortunately she was a “collector”. She loved puzzles, books, dvds, videos, records, a lot of things piled into a very small space.
My brain has been working overtime both during the day and even at night while I’m sleeping. I have woken up thinking of things and writing them down. Even today, Sunday, while I tried to sleep I woke at 7.00 am thinking again of something I have to do.
I took yesterday off and ended up cleaning my own house, organising a casserole and even a little shopping which I haven’t allowed myself to do but then it comes back to my friend’s place of residence and dealing with the Real Estate Agents.
I had one horrible experience with a real estate agency almost 15 years ago where I worked for approximately 2 weekends and not only their training was bad but I was bad for the place – they made me feel very uncomfortable while I was there and it was easier to walk away.
But my experience this time was totally different and again they made me feel uncomfortable.
After my friend’s passing I went to the agency to advise them of her passing. Sad though they were they informed me “she just signed a tenancy agreement and you might be up for a year’s fees” to which I informed them she was a pensioner and didn’t have a lot of money and that I, as her executor, was not liable for any costs. They then said “you might also be up for advertising fees for a new tenant.” PRICELESS. Also I was told that she owed another $500.00 in rent. I left a post signed cheque with them and hoped that they would lodge it before I closed the bank accounts. I was also given a form for a “28 days to vacate” and I walked out of there determined to be out of the flat in a week. Furious that they had so little regard for my friend.
Obviously a week wasn’t enough but I filled out the form and advised them that I would be out of the flat by the 12th September, again hoping it would be all over.
That’s when I received an email with an attached letter advising that as I was the “executor” of the estate the following needed to occur… I read through it and was told that 28 days was indeed the 28th September at which time they would do an inspection on the place and I would hand over the keys. Fine. I could do that.
They also advised that $687.00 was required to be paid by 9th September for the rent until 28th September. Money I did not have.
THEN to add insult to injury the final paragraph read “As tenant you would have been given a notice at the beginning of the tenancy with all the requirements for you to follow when you leave the property”. Hello? Not the tenant. Of course, this was a “form letter” that they chose to change the first paragraph but not read or change the rest of the letter.
What is more appalling than anything is their lack of respect for my friend’s passing. Nowhere was there any sympathy for my loss or apologies for her death. Instead it was “BUSINESS AS USUAL”.
Now I understand they are acting on behalf of the landlord but I wonder how much the landlord is aware of their dealings? They want their commission. They are losing money the moment my friend passed away. They need to take a step back.
I have since contacted Legal Aid and the Tenancy Union and it seems that once the 28 days notice has finished the Tenancy Agreement becomes null and void meaning I don’t have to pay a year’s worth of fees. The Union advised that I should just get everything out by the 28th, do a general clean and on that day I should hand over the keys and the cheque and while there still would be bond money owing it would be best to just walk away and walk away I will.
Their blatant disregard for human life is horrendous and I while I still harbour bad feelings for Real Estate people they have now escalated in the worst possible way. I will be suggesting to any and all who listen to make absolutely sure about any dealings with these Charlatans and ensure that your rights are preserved in every way. Don’t let them bully you into anything without first having it looked at by someone. Even paying for a solicitor to ensure peace of mind is so much better than if something goes wrong, these vultures would swoop in and steal the clothes off your back if they had an opportunity.
My friend’s passing has been made all the worse because of this one instance and dealing with the agents and my grief is not helping my disposition or my health. No one upsets me and gets away with it. Luckily my friend was an avid believer in doing what was right and, if need be, I shall fight to preserve her memory and make sure the Real Estate Industry learns that they can’t push this little girl around.