This review applies not to the realtor that I worked with at Dallien but the company itself. The first issue was submitting our application and deposit fees.
NYC has a law that says landlords cannot charge excessive application fees (“no landlord, lessor, sub-lessor or grantor” should charge processing or application fees unless it’s for a background check, and that should not exceed $20 dollars”).
When we mentioned this to Dallien, they explained that they are aware of the law, but since they are not actually the landlord, it does not apply to them.
They are certainly not the only company in New York that has figured out a way around the intent of the law, but I hope NYC updates the law someday to better cover the original intent.
I went to submit my application via the online portal. There are a few different places where you can submit payments on the site, but I couldn’t get the payment to go through via the one that seemed to be the correct location.
The communication around how to submit the fees was not helpful and no one couldn’t offer a solve as to why the site wasn’t working.
The agent stressed the urgency of submitting the deposit right away in order to hold the apartment.
Feeling a bit desperate, I submitted the payment via one of the areas on the site that would accept my payment.
After submitting my application fee (and the $8 processing fee), they told me I needed to resubmit it elsewhere on the site because I had used the wrong place, and they would issue me a refund.
It took weeks of back and forth to get the refund that they said was already issued a few weeks prior.
When the refund did come, it did not cover the processing fee. It’s $8, not a big deal, but it left me with that awful feeling of being taken advantage. (You can avoid paying the processing fee if you use a debit card instead of credit, but I wasn’t aware of that at the time until I later tried paying with a debit card.)
The lease was also an issue. The arithmetic in the lease and what we were told by the agent did not add up.
The difference in the annual rent was about $300 more than what we were told, so again, not a big deal in the grand scheme of things, but we felt the contract should be written to be 100% clear and consistent with what they are listing the apartment for and what the realtor had relayed, or someone should at least be able to explain the discrepancy.
My husband even put together a spreadsheet with the math so we could figure out where the miscommunication was, but we were told that no one there was good with Excel, so if we wanted the apartment we needed to sign the lease as it was. We ended up signing the lease anyway because we needed a place to live.
It ended up being one of those situations where it’s not about the money, it’s about the customer service experience, and the bad feeling I have after my interactions with Dallien. I realize that perhaps my expectations are high, but when you are committing to$40K+/year for an apartment, I expect better customer service than I get at Starbuck’s ordering a $5 coffee.
Based on my experience, I don’t intend to work with this company down the road and wouldn’t recommend them.
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