Airing their grievances on social media last week, the renter revealed they'd received an email with the offer at around 3 pm on October 24. But because they worked til 7pm, they could not respond until 8pm, 7Life reports.
In the meantime, the agent (who was not named) supposedly offered the property to someone else instead and outlined the reason why in a response to the potential tenant two weeks later.
"Unfortunately there was an approval sent to you without a response until later in the evening," the email reads. "As we had a number of applicants and heard nothing from you we were instructed via the owner to take another application. We do apologise for any inconvenience this may have caused."
Tenant 'frustrated' by 'pretty cold-hearted' response
Frustrated by the sudden turn of events, the renter asked "is there anything I can do in this situation?" after sharing a screenshot of the email on Reddit.
The poster said they'd tried to follow up multiple times after their initial reply. "There was nothing in the email stating any urgency of a reply and I was stoked to get approved for a property," they said. "Fast forward to two weeks later and I’ve sent three emails to the property manager for any follow-up and finally got this response today.
"Pretty cold-hearted because I now have two weeks to try and get approved for another property and I am pretty frustrated to say the least."
Tenant advocate slams 'common' real estate move
Tenant advocate and qualified lawyer Jordan van den Berg slammed the real estate agent's behaviour, saying it's not entirely uncommon.
"It’s incredibly unfair in a housing crisis to withdraw acceptance without giving a tenant time to finish their job and respond," he told Yahoo News Australia.
"Landlords and agents expect tenants to have full-time jobs in order to rent their properties and when tenants reach out to them they often take weeks to respond. However, they expect tenants to respond within the hour.
"This is an incredibly unfair double standard and they should have some self-awareness."
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