Should I tell them about the alleged rats?

By
Real Estate Agent with Better Homes & Gardens Rand Realty, Monroe NY Real Estate, 914-419-0270

I was showing apartments recently to a young couple, who were looking for a rental property for themselves and their young child.  I was meeting them at the first property, and then we were looking at several afterwards.  I happened to arrive a bit early and went to open the door to check out the place prior to my clients' arrival.  Since the neighbors who lived in the other half of the two family home were sitting outside, I introduced myself and told them I was showing the apartment and then said,

"So, how do you enjoy living here?"

They didn't answer for a few seconds, and then all jumped in.

  • "It's horrible - we had a bed bug problem and the landlord didn't take care of it"
  • "We share the basement and there are rats down there."
  • "Yeah, there are rats and no one takes care of the problem."
  • "We're moving too as soon as we can afford to."

ratI thanked them for their input and then went inside (cautiously) and looked around.  It was a decent sized two bedroom rental, with a large kitchen, but I noticed several issues.  There was not one closet in the entire apartment.  Not in the bedrooms, not in the bathroom, not in the hall, not in the kitchen.  There were kitchen cabinets, and a wire shelf to use as a pantry but not one closet.  Also, in the one bathroom which was upstairs, you had to step over the toilet to get into the bathroom.  Strange. 

My clients arrived.  I represent them; I don't represent the landlord.  So I met them at the door, and said, "The good news is, the rooms are large and bright, and you have access to the attic and basement as well.  The bad news is, there are no closets and the neighbors indicated they were moving soon.  They indicated there are rats in the basement and bed bug issues."  The clients looked around quickly, agreed the closets and potential rats were an issue, and we went on to look at different rentals.

I then had another potential client call me with interest in the same rental.  I faced a brief dilemma.  Do I tell them also?  Do I not and wait till they are an official client?  I told them.  I couldn't in good conscience show someone an apartment that had issues.  BUT, they were alleged issues.  I didn't see the rat(s).  In fact, I refused to go in the basement.  Maybe they were there.  Maybe not.  I figured if my clients and potential clients had an interest in renting it anyway, at least I'd disclosed what I'd been told.

What would you have done? 

Posted by

 

Kat Palmiotti, The House Kat

Licensed Real Estate Salesperson, CBR®

Better Homes & Gardens Rand Realty

Monroe, NY Real Estate

914-419-0270 (cell)

www.thehousekat.com

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Rainmaker
288,073
Kat Palmiotti
The House Kat
Better Homes & Gardens Rand Realty, Monroe NY Real Estate, 914-419-0270

Kathryn - True, it might not be true.  But since they mentioned it, I did feel obligated to share with my clients.  Thanks for sharing your feedback!

April 17, 2012 03:22 AM
Rainmaker
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Dawn A Fabiszak
The Dawn of a New Real Estate Experience!
Keller Williams Real Estate ( Denver metro area, Colorado

Kat ~ no closets????  Where do you hang clothes and coats?  Maybe there was a rodent problem hiding in the old closets??????  I think I would have stated to the caller that the apartment was lacking closets and you would have to step over the toilet to get into the bathroom, and that the adjoining neighbor to this unit was not happy with the place and stated that there was a "potential rat problem & a bed bug issue".

I also would have gotten out of there as quick as possible!

April 17, 2012 01:07 PM
Rainmaker
288,073
Kat Palmiotti
The House Kat
Better Homes & Gardens Rand Realty, Monroe NY Real Estate, 914-419-0270

Dawn - that would have been a better response.  Anyway, I have to tell you, once I heard about bed bugs, even though there was no furniture or draperies in the place, I was itching like crazy.  I could just picture bugs jumping from the carpet onto my ankles.  EWWWWW.  And I opened a door, saw it was the basement (leading down a bunch of dark, scary steps) and I just closed the doors and waited outside for them.  :-)

April 17, 2012 01:56 PM
Anonymous #19
Anonymous
Anonymous

quote Jiminy Cricket, "Always let your Conscience be your guide!"

December 05, 2012 10:40 PM
Rainmaker
288,073
Kat Palmiotti
The House Kat
Better Homes & Gardens Rand Realty, Monroe NY Real Estate, 914-419-0270

Jiminy Cricket quoter:   True, that's true.  And I did, so I'm good.

December 06, 2012 03:00 AM
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