- Report: #1106445
Report - Rebuttal - Arbitrate
Complaint Review: Town Real Estate
Town Real Estate33 Irving Place, NEW YORK, New York USA
Town Real Estate Town Residential LLC Misrepresentation of property and untrustworthy ( does not follow up with promises and did not even gave one of two copies of original lease) NEW YORK New York
*Author of original report: Correction - Paid 15% commission, not 6.
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Where do I begin....
I think to summarize I would say, do not use or be very careful with any real estate company without a proper recommendation!! My girlfriend and I were very excited to look for an apartment to move in together and we assumed this company had a great reputation given the rapid growth in NYC and the personal approach with great service that it markets itself as. The website, the offices, the chic addresses, etc all look great. I believe there are many hardworking people, and whether in NY or Alabama, we all deserve to deal with a company that has integrity and is professional.
It is frustrating that I have to write this review, but I tried in every way to be very understanding in every aspect of the rental transaction. When we payed the 6% commission out of pocket, as customers renting an apartment in a luxury building, we expected to receive not only good service, but also disclosure of the true terms and conditions of the rental contract. This did not occur at any moment. The apartment was promised to us to be painted and the kitchen cabinets which were peeling and in terrible shape, fixed. This is a five star residential property, after all.
The property was empty for an entire month, which should be more than enough time for the work to be completed. One week before the move in date, we did the walk-thru and were surprised that the apartment was not painted, nor cleaned and the cabinets were not fixed as promised. Our agent was also surprised of the shape of the apt and later e-mailed us that she was not expecting the condition to be as it was. She fully agreed that it was not handled correctly, since we rented and signed the lease for a painted apartment, with fixed kitchen cabinets - not in an as-is condition as it was later implied to us. After the first walk-through, Town tried to talk us into not painting the apartment as promised. The day after this horrific walk-through, we received an email stating that we need to find and pay for a cleaning service for the apt, or they could find the cleaning person for us (how thoughtful) and we would have to go and give them cash in order to secure them.
After paying thousands of dollars in commission alone to TOWN, we did not expect to be looking for cleaning services, negotiating terms that were already promised to us. What occurred was simply MISREPRESENTATION: omission of lease terms and clauses, embellishing and obfuscation of the property. We were being scammed. We did not agree with these new terms that were being thrown at us. To negotiate painting and cleaning 3 days before the move in date, after 2 walk-throughs with no progress, caused so much stress and frustration that we tried everything in our hands to reach for an agreement and in order to move in to the place. Finally they reviewed their procedures and offered to remedy the situation by offering another apartment, that IF there was one available (they weren't sure) or by correcting some of the issues at hand.
After phone calls and some offers from TOWN in order to remedy all their faulty service, we requested a 25% refund of what we paid cash out of pocket. I made clear that the service they provided broke many of the rules, terms and regulations that New York State division of license for real estate broker regulates and supervises.
We received many phone calls from TOWN and they offered an amount close to what we requested however today, after waiting for many weeks we were told that they did everything right, contradicting everything again.
This company is completely untrustworthy and have demonstrated that even after a mistake is discovered and pointed out in their procedures and business, nothing was done to make things right.
If you experienced great service from TOWN, believe me, we are very happy for you, as that is exactly what we hoped would happen for us when we paid the full commission. We expected to be happy in our first apartment and have no hassles or problems the entire transaction.
If you had terrible service, countless headaches and the feeling of complete hopelessness, that there is nothing you can do, and have been scammed or ripped off, I know the feeling exactly! It is a shame that TOWN RESIDENTIAL LLC continues to act in this manner. It is unprofessional, unethical and a disgrace to New York City residents.
We still never received the original lease signed which was promised at signing.
I'd love to hear your experience, please feel free to contact me via email to email@example.com.
For now, be careful who you choose as your real estate professional.
Regards, Fabiano H****.
Legal Memorandum LT01
DISCIPLINE OF REAL ESTATE BROKERS AND SALESPERSONS
FOR UNTRUSTWORTHY CONDUCT
" Real Property Law grants to the Department of State the authority to regulate real estate brokers and salespersons. Real Property Law §441-c provides, in part, that the Department of State may revoke, suspend, fine or reprimand a real estate broker or salesperson if that licensee is found to have, among other things, violated any provision of Article 12-A of the Real Property Law, engaged in fraud or fraudulent practices, or demonstrated untrustworthiness or incompetency. As the Court of Appeals stated in Matter of Gold v. Lomenzo, 29 NY2d 468, 329 NYS2d 805, 811 (1972), "the Legislature intended the Secretary of State to be vested with a wide discretion in determining what should be deemed untrustworthy conduct."
In fact, even if a licensee engages in conduct unrelated to its activities as a real estate broker or salesperson, that conduct can still act as the basis for and be considered by the Department of State in bringing a disciplinary proceeding against that licensee for engaging in untrustworthy behavior.
For example, in Eich v. Shaffer, 136 AD2d 701, 523 NYS2d 902 (2nd Dept. 1988), the Department of State held, after a disciplinary proceeding, that a finding by the New York State Department of Insurance petitioner violated his duties as an insurance broker and thereby demonstrated untrustworthiness and incompetency, was a sufficient basis for determining petitioner guilty of untrustworthiness with reference to his license as a real estate broker. In confirming that determination, the Appellate Court stated that it was "proper for the [Secretary] of State to base her determination that the petitioner was untrustworthy to act as a real estate broker within the meaning of Real Property Law §441-c on his misdeeds as an insurance broker." Eich, 523 NYS2d at 904.
Eich followed the holding in Dovale v. Patterson, 85 AD2d 602, 444 NYS2d 694 (2nd Dept. 1981), in which the Court stated that "[a]lthough the actions underlying the disciplinary charges are not acts for which petitioner's license as a real estate broker was required, they may be considered in determining petitioner's untrustworthiness and incompetency as a broker." Dovale, 444 NYS2d at 695. In Dovale, the Court upheld the Department of State's revocation of petitioner's real estate broker's license based upon his regularly engaging in the practice of submitting fraudulent contracts and loan applications to banks in order to obtain larger mortgages than might otherwise be available.
Finally, in Fogel v. Department of State, 209 AD2d 615, 619 NYS2d 104 (2nd Dept. 1994), the Court held that the Department of State properly denied the renewal of petitioner's real estate salesperson's license and properly denied him a real estate broker's license based upon his prior criminal conviction for sexual misconduct.
However, the manifest purpose of Real Property Law §441-c is the protection of the general public. It follows from this that when the conduct of the real estate broker or salesperson has no adverse effect on the public at large, the Department of State generally has no jurisdiction to intervene. Typically, such cases involve isolated disputes between a real estate broker and its salesperson or between two real estate brokers. In Stowell v. Cuomo, 52 NY2d 208, 437 NYS2d 270 (1981), a dispute arose between real estate salespersons Terry and Dianna Elich ("the Elichs") and petitioner real estate broker Lawrence Stowell ("Stowell").
The Elichs had earned commissions before leaving Stowell's employ. Stowell attempted to deduct certain expenses from those commissions and the Elichs refused to accept the reduced amounts offered to them. The Court of Appeals held that the Department of State did not have jurisdiction to discipline the broker based solely upon a simple contractual dispute between the broker and his sales personnel because the Department of State failed to point to any supportable adverse effect upon the public. Stowell, 437 NYS2d at 271.
The Court of Appeals cautioned, however, that "there may be situations in which, for example, a broker's 'business practices' or 'business methods' (see Real Property Law §442-e, subds. 5, 6) with regard to his salespersons are so devious as to indicate clearly that he would not deal fairly with the public and, therefore, disciplinary action under section 441-c of the Real Property Law for demonstrating 'untrustworthiness' might be warranted..." Id. Clearly, if a real estate broker repeatedly engages in unethical conduct relative to its sales staff or to other brokers, the Department of State would have jurisdiction to commence a disciplinary proceeding against that broker for demonstrating untrustworthiness pursuant to Real Property Law §441-c.
This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 12/12/2013 11:24 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Town-Real-Estate/NEW-YORK-New-York-10003/Town-Real-Estate-Town-Residential-LLC-Misrepresentation-of-property-and-untrustworthy-d-1106445. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.
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