After over twenty-five years in this business I think you come to a point where you think you’ve seen and heard it all. Alas, I’ve been proven wrong again because I recently had a most interesting experience at the Tribunal.
An agent working with Bonnie Hoy & Associates was providing leasing services at a large site in mid-town Toronto. This is a very busy office with multiple leasing agents and a great deal of walking involved in order to properly service the customer base. The leasing agent had been told (by another office agent) about a unit in one of the complex buildings that showed well even through it was still occupied. Now, we all know that these types of units are few and far between, and you take advantage of their availability as often as you can, so the leasing agent went off with the prospect to view this particular suite.
Reaching the door, the agent knocked twice, waited thirty seconds between each set of knocks, opened the door and called out that they were from the rental office and asked if anybody was home. Receiving no response, the agent entered the unit with the prospect. They viewed all areas of the apartment (being respectful of the current residents’ privacy) and eventually came to the second bedroom. They opened the door only to find a man fast asleep in bed. Startled, the agent immediately ended the tour, left the apartment, locked the door and returned to the rental office. The prospects actually liked the unit and began the application process.
Nearly an hour later a man called the rental office asking if anybody had been in his apartment. When the leasing agent responded that they had in fact shown his unit, he became agitated and said that he wasn’t moving. His tirade ran the course of colourful words and phrases – the bottom line being that his unit wasn’t available – so why was it shown. As it turns out, the leasing agent had transposed two numbers. Instead of going to let’s say suite 706, they went to suite 607. This particular tenant had not given notice to vacate.
It didn’t take long before an application was forwarded to the Tribunal demanding fifteen thousand dollars ($15,000) for pain and suffering and whatever else the Tribunal deemed appropriate. The representative for the company did an outstanding job speaking for the landlord. The property manager testified, both leasing agents involved testified, and the tenant testified. The tenant admitted swearing at the agent on the phone. He noted that he had not even been sure the agent had entered his apartment until he asked. He also acknowledged that he understood just how easy it would be to transpose two numbers. Ultimately, the tenant still felt that the landlord was responsible and had to pay for the mistake. He went on to say that he’s only been in the country for eight months.
The sad thing is, the judgement awarded the resident $500 for the incident. The leasing agent had already apologized. The superintendent apologized. The property manager apologized. The company apologized. I guess I learned that sorry wasn’t good enough! Food for though.