Jan. 30, 2005, 1:25 p.m.

What is worse than the tax man?

Ever thought it is possible that anything worse than the tax man exists? I found out yesterday that there is one thing lower than lobster excretions, worse than the tax man...

They are commonly known as Estate Agents. Why? Remember I wrote some blog entries ago about having just sold my house through Chas Everitt? Well, since I sold it somewhere in end of November I have heard absolutely nothing from them. They never phoned me - not even once. I only dealt with the lawyers for the transferring of ownership, and as of yet the house is still in my name.

But jumping back to the day I sold the house, the two Chas Everitt estate agents were sitting on my couch in my new place telling me excitedly about the clients they got that made an offer. The offer was R100,000 less than what I wanted, so I was a bit wary. They explained to me that the walls were damp, the cable that sustains the weight that allows my garage door to open and close were completely broken and now the garage door cannot open at all, the place had to be re-painted because the body corporate requested that etc. That was how they negotiated a lower price tag. I fell for that since I really wanted to sell the house - to me it was a liability.

Anycase, the people would have moved in beginning of February. They would have paid occupational rent for as long as it took to have the transfer go through. But like I said - from that day there was a silent night - absolute quiteness.

One day the buyers asked for my keys - they wanted to show the place to their family. Nice man that I am - I gave them my only set of keys. It took 3 weeks of fighting to get it back.

Yesterday I decided to have a peek at my place - to see what is going on since nobody was keeping me in the loop. What a shock when I got there!

Firstly, two windows were broken. Those were the two windows next to the front and back doors. New locks had been fitted on all external doors. The garden was trashed - the fig tree was chopped off, the burglar alarm system's cables were dug up, the place was re-painted inside and surprise surprise - they have moved in! At least 1 week before, since the paint was dry.

When I spoke to Chas Everitt about this, they told me that they knew a long time that those people moved in, but placed all responsibilities of the occupational rent on the lawyers.

Furthermore, the garage door is working perfectly. The cables are still the old ones. About the painting of the external walls of the house - there was no request from the body corporate since they do that once in every 5 years - I only had the place for about 1.5 years and they have just painted it when I bought it. These people are liars.

I guaranteed them that if this is not resolved - and by resolved I mean I need firstly a pretty good explanation of why I was never kept in the loop, and secondly get my 1 month's occupational rent - I will go to the police tomorrow at 12:00 noon and charge the buyers with breaking and entering, and them (the estate agents) with accessory to breaking and entering.

So much for the "we will take care of you and your property" attitude Chas Everitt had when they first got their sole mandate. I am going to publish an article in the national newspaper about them and how they treat people.

Just another reason why I never trust people.