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Complaints against real estate agencies

James and Joanna had to leave their rented house where they lived. "The landlord emigrated and returned. I wanted the house. It was in their right," they say Live Money. In search of a new place of residence they came across undrawn rental costs. They then preferred to move on to buying a house. They contacted one of the largest real estate companies in the country. And they got headaches.

"We saw a T2 we liked the place we wanted and we made a proposal that was approved. We left a sign of 2500 euros as proof of good faith, we dealt with the case with the bank, we paid – from our pocket – An evaluation of the property. We did everything right. And the day before the contract was promised to buy and sell, they called us to say that the house would after all be sold to someone else, "reminds Tiago, who is not in doubt about what happened . Implementation of the agreement would involve a division of commissions between real estate agents ̵

1; between what helped them and the one who had raised the property. "The other agent didn't want to share the mission, so he ignored what was agreed and went looking for another buyer."

James and Joana ended up in the hand, unprotected, demoralized, but the house they wanted after spending time and money on the process. They made several complaints to the agency, never received a response. They then explained the situation in the Complaint, which so far lacks resolution.

The case is not unique. There are more than a hundred similar situations in the online portal. Between June 7, 2018 and May 7, 2019, 160 claims were received against real estate agencies. This is an increase of 20% over the same period. Most complaints are related to failures in commitments (44%). There are also complaints about a lack of interest in sales or leasing (20%), which creates obstacles to the completion of the business and that no signal or deposit is repaid (20%). There are also other cases (13%), which include harassment by owners who want to sell and rent their property in a certain way, a country offered for sale without the owner's consent and even a situation where the mediators are accused of selling a property and keep the money from the sale.

Last year, only 24 complaints against real estate agencies in Portal da Queixa were answered. And only nine were given as solved. "Unfortunately, we are witnessing a total lack of control on the part of the regulator, given that they are only trying to react reactively in accordance with the law and do not proactively protect the interests of consumers, following commercial practices that are not transparent," explains Pedro Lourenço. , CEO and founder of the online platform

The number of complaints to Deco is very expressive.In 2017, the Consumer Protection Association received 595 complaints against real estate companies, this figure rose to 649 in 2018. And this year, from January to April, complaints are already in 224. The motives presented are similar: problems in the information sent at the time of employment, payment by the Commission, breach of contract, difficulty in labeling

"As in all professions, there are good and bad professionals and real estate is no exception. Unfortunately, there are agents who question the profession's gravity, which becomes clearer during a period where market dynamics have promoted the rise of the professionals to act in this branch, explains Luís Lima, chairman of the trade association and the companies of real estate agents in Portugal (APEMIP)

And advises people always ask about the company they employ. "It is especially important that consumers ensure that the entity with which they shop is duly licensed and meets the legal requirements necessary to operate in this market. This can be verified by requesting the AMI license number issued by the regulatory body ( IMPIC), which guarantees it. "Luís Lima assumes that this may not be enough. "However, some duly licensed entities may act inappropriately, behavior that APEMIP disagrees with. As such, any complaint to APEMIP, whether related to poor market practice or unlawful disclosure, will be duly reported to the supervisory body that controls market. "

Tiago and Joana will not give up to see their situation resolved. They already have a new house, but they want the agency to take the consequences of the damage that caused them. "We may have to spend more than 100 or 200 euros with a lawyer, but we will go to the end."

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