What to do when you have problems with a real estate?

The real estate companies can establish, in general, as a corporate purpose, carrying out various acts, procedures, mediations, procedures, among them: receiving real estate on consignment for sale, exchange, lease; intermediation in obtaining mortgage loans, brokerage, promoting the sale of urban and construction projects, promoting securitization projects, leasing, etc.

In the development of each of the above activities, problems with real estate agencies may eventually arise.

In the case of leases, depending on the type of contract for the consignment of the property, there are several cases, since there are several modalities.

a) Consignment so that the real estate agency leases directly.

b) Consignment for the real estate agency to select the tenant and administer the contract, but the consignor being the lessor.

c) Consignment to select the tenant only. It also depends on the type of property, its location and especially its destination for use (urban housing, rural housing, or commercial type), where special treatment is applied for each case.

In terms of leasing urban housing the Law 820 of 2003 and Decree 51 of 2004, regulating the activity of natural or legal persons engaged in brokering lease or lease property. They generally have two ways of treating them, administratively and through ordinary justice.

In an administrative way

The competition to find out about the excesses or irregularities of the real estate agencies is at the head of the local authorities.

In the case of Bogotá, the Office of the Sub directorate of Investigations and Housing Control attached to the Secretariat of Habitat is in charge of housing control, the following functions are assigned by law:

Leasing contract 

1. Know the controversies originated by not issuing copies of the lease to the tenants, guarantors and co-debtors.

2. Assume the actions attributed to the competent authority in articles 22 to 25 in relation to the unilateral termination of the contract.

3. To know of the cases in which illegal deposits have been made and to know of the controversies originated by the enforceability of the same.

4. Be aware of the controversies originated by the non-issuance of the payment vouchers to the tenant, when the consignment as payment voucher has not been agreed upon.

5. To know the controversies derived from the inadequate application of the regulation of the commercial value of the real estate destined to urban housing or of the increases.

6. be aware of the breach of the rules on maintenance, conservation, use and internal order of shared housing lease contracts, subject to surveillance and control.

Control, inspection and surveillance function

1. Investigate, sanction and impose the other corrective measures that may be appropriate, to the persons referred to in article 28 of this Law or to any other person who has the status of lessor or sub-lessor.

2. Apply the administrative sanctions established in this law and other concordant regulations.

3. Controlling the exercise of the urban housing real estate activity, especially with regard to the administration contract.

4. Monitor the fulfilment of the obligations related to the announcement to the public and the exercise of activities without obtaining the registration when it is necessary.

When the landlord is a real estate company, it must have a real estate registration and a legal representative; Therefore, just as they have rights, they have obligations and are responsible for their omissions and/or abuses either in relation to the consignment contract of the property where the consignor is harmed and/or in relation to the lease contract, where the lessee, co-tenants, guarantors and/or joint and several co-debtor may be harmed.

Casuistry has shown us that even abuses sometimes extend to insurance companies and/or their external attorneys, who also incur excesses and are responsible for their actions.

It is important when suing for damages, to be able to demonstrate the type of damage (moral, material: loss of earnings, consequential damages, others), as well as its amount in the process.

Now, for cases such as the one stated in the consultation text, this is when the landlord (real estate or owner, or possessor, or holder) does not fulfil his obligation to keep the property in normal condition so that the tenant can enjoy natural use of the same, the judge is applied, so that prior due process a judicial order is obtained that orders the landlord to repair the damage and/or the payment of the expenses incurred by the tenant when repairing it. Also to obtain a judicial declaration of termination of the contract for just cause invoked by the tenant to the lessor to ignore the rights of the tenant set forth in the law.

What type of complaints or requests do you attend?

The landlord or tenant of an urban dwelling can file complaints or requests for leasing in the following cases:

  • When the tenant considers that they are charging a fee that exceeds 1% of the commercial value of the property.
  • When the real estate agency breaches the owner with the property management contract.
  • When there is no breach, the lessor or the lessee wants to unilaterally terminate the contract before its expiration, paying the other party the corresponding compensation

Therefore, if you have any problem with a real estate agency, it is important that you consult Law 820 of 2003 as it governs the case of real estate destined for urban housing that you own or that of third parties, or for commercial intermediation tasks between landlords and tenants. Inspection, control and surveillance is carried out by the Mayor’s Office, before which you can make the respective complaint.