Rachel Fieldhouse

Real Estate

"It's blown up in our face": Estate agent's festive suggestion could NOT have gone worse

"It's blown up in our face": Estate agent's festive suggestion could NOT have gone worse

A real estate agent has been the subject of intense backlash, after asking his tenants whether they wished to buy their landlords a pricey Christmas gift.

Michael Kanik of Brisbane’s Kanik and Co sent a letter to renters with the offer to send Christmas hampers to their landlords on their behalf.

Prices started at $AUD 50 for a basic White Wine Grazing Box and peaked at $AUD 115 for the All Things Golden hamper. Alternatives included a $AUD 55 Festive Sweets, $AUD 70 Self Care and $AUD 99 Foodies Hamper.

Image: Reddit

In a screenshot of the email, shared on Reddit, the agency wrote: “This year has been particularly difficult for both our tenants and property owners alike and we understand some tenants would like to thank their property owners for everything in 2021.

“Our team are happy to facilitate the purchasing of a gift and have it delivered to the property owner with a handwritten note to say thank you, directly from you.”

The agent said tenants who wished to take part would be issued an invoice which would need to be paid within seven days.

The letter sparked a furious reaction online, especially as one-third of Australians relying on a national scheme reducing the costs of rental properties live in Queensland, as reported by The West Australian.

One Twitter user who shared the screenshot on the platform wrote: “This agency is in Logan, where the average weekly rent has increased by 30 per cent in the last 5 years and the vacancy rate is 1 per cent”.

Both tenants and landlords shared their disapproval of the gesture.

“As a property owner who reduced rent and upgraded the internet connection at the property during COVID lockdown, I say WTF??” one user shared.

“As another who did similar (instigated a rent-free period of three months and then reduced the rent going forward on the next lease), I just cannot get my head around this agent’s gift collection. If I was the LL [landlord] I’d be taking my property elsewhere for management,” another commented.

“Oh god real estate agents really are something else. Like do they not realise we actually like them LESS than we like our landlords?” a third said.

“This is outrageous- it should be the other way around, thanking their loyal customers,” another added.

On Monday, Mr Kanik admitted that he had made a mistake in sending the email out. However he insisted that he also sent a letter to landlords with the same offer directed to their tenants.

“It was done with the best of intentions but it’s blown up in our face,” he told Daily Mail Australia. “We thought it would be a nice gesture.

“It’s quite disheartening. We’ve already had quite a few calls about it today.

“We sent out that blanket email saying if you want to participate, but there’s no obligation at all. We were just purely trying to do a nice thing.”

He added: “In hindsight, it was probably a mistake to send it to the tenants, but owners sending tenants a hamper is definitely a good thing.

“All our landlords that come back to us are happy to do so. But some tenants have taken it the wrong way.”

Image: Getty Images