1.0 out 5
"Let me begin by saying that I am an understanding person who goes out of his way to understand where others are coming from. That said, I strongly urge you to never do business with this company.
After Joe Torres of R Russell Properties violated our oral and written agreement about a move-in date on a rental property, he refused to refund $1295. On 9/9/12, my roommates and I entered into an oral agreement with Joe Torres of Russell Properties about moving into the rental property at 968-B E. Michigan St. Orlando, FL 32806. This was later made into a written agreement when we turned in our applications on 9/14/12 which stated our desire to move in to the unit by the first week of October, something Mr. Torres implied wasn't a problem. When we gave him our security deposit of $995 (money order) to hold the condo, we were never told nor given anything in writing that stipulated any condition that would cause us to forfeit the deposit.
On 9/27/12, Mr. Torres informed us the HOA would not be meeting to approve new residents until 11/3/2012. When we called the HOA later, we were informed they met in the last week of September, meaning that Mr. Torres did not turn in our applications in time for us to move in by early October. When we learned this, we requested either a 9 month lease or we would walk away (since the application and other materials we received did not outline any penalty for taking such action). After several days of not hearing from him, Mr. Torres tactfully circumvented our questions and concerns and stated "I had indicated that it may take a while to approve" (direct quote from an email, all of which are archived).
We contacted him 10/5/12 requesting a return of our deposit (which was given as a money order) of $995 and our $300 check for the still unused HOA application fee (made out to the HOA). Since 10/5/12, he has ignored our calls and emails either entirely or partially (such as responding to one issue while ignoring others). His office phone goes straight to voicemail when called and other employees at R. Russell Properties referred us back to Mr. Torres, stating it was out of their hands. Neither Mr. Torres nor Russell Properties have given an acceptable reason as to why they haven't returned our money yet, nor given any intention of doing so. An attorney was consulted and contacted Mr. Torres directly, but this was also ignored. Our security deposit was finally returned after at least three demands from our attorney, but Mr. Torres ignored our request for him to not turn in our HOA application (after we had been living at another address for almost half a month). This caused us to lose our $300 check to the HOA, something Mr. Torres knew would happen. Without hyperbole, this is the least professional company I've ever dealt with. I've visited lemonade stands that understand good business practices better than R. Russell Properties."
Daniel M. , Oct 31 2012 5:11PM