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公开售房日的恶梦
Theft at open house, a newcomer’s nightmare

公开售房日可为潜在买家提供巨大的灵活性,让他们有机会亲眼目睹心仪的房屋,而房主也有望藉此将房产卖出最高价。但是并非所有上门看房的人都是为了买房,有些人可能只是想要一窥房屋内貌以满足自己的好奇心,另一些人则可能是冲着你家中的贵重财物而来。

Open house creates great opportunity for homeowners to sell the property for the best possible prices. But not everyone coming through your door is interested in buying your property. While some may come solely for a peek inside to satisfy their curiosity, others may target at your valuable assets.

 

来自中国的新移民Christina就向《大中报》讲述了Royal LePage公司的房地产经纪帮她举办的公开售房日活动所带来的恶梦般的遭遇。Christina称,在公开售房日结束后,她回到家中震惊地发现自己藏在壁橱后的一整盒珠宝已不翼而飞。据Christina估计其财产损失总额约为$30万元。

Christina, a newcomer from China contacted Chinese News telling her heart wrenching experience at an open house hosted by her real estate agent with Royal LePage. According to Christina, when open house was over, she came back home shockingly discovered that her whole jewellery box –which was concealed behind the closet-- were mysteriously disappeared. Christina estimated that the total value of the lost assets were about $300,000.

 

Christina认为窃贼是趁着公开售房日上门而顺手牵羊偷走珠宝,她称:“大部分珠宝都是我的祖辈代代相传下来的,它们具有很高的感情价值和纪念意义。”

“Most of the jewelleries were from my ancestors and passed down from generations to generations, so they had very high emotional and sentimental worth,” says Christina, who believed that it was stolen by thieves during the open house.

 

Christina随即报了警,她在警察局还获悉当天在附近地区也发生了一起类似窃案。

Christina contacted the police immediately. At the police station, she also learned that a similar incident occurred in the nearby area on the same day.

 

实际上,大多伦多许多地区都曾在公开售房日遭遇过盗窃。据《多伦多星报》报道,2010年杜咸区警方共破获500起房屋失窃案,追回价值$50万元的财物,总值远远高于警方原先的估计。有关公开售房日盗窃案件的报道也不时见诸报端。在一些窃案中,盗贼甚至会手持小型金属探测器等高科技设备找寻屋内珠宝的藏身之所。

The thefts from open houses have taken place in communities across much of the GTA. Toronto Star reported in 2010 that Durham police had recovered 500 stolen properties in $500,000 assets, a value much higher over their original estimates. Incidents of open house theft have constantly been reported by newspapers.  In some cases, thieves used technology – including small hand-held metal detectors to find where jewelry was being kept in the houses.

 

在一对奥沙瓦夫妇被控利用公开售房日活动在大多伦多地区盗窃古董、珠宝、钱币以及其他贵重财物后,一些房主在警方的帮助下幸运地找回了失窃财物。最终有逾$5万元被缴赃物回到失主手中。

Some homeowners were lucky enough to have their stolen assets recovered by the police, after an Oshawa couple was charged with stealing antiques, jewellery, coins and other valuable items from open houses in the GTA. More than $50,000 worth of recovered assets has been returned to victims.

 

但是Christina似乎并不在那些顺利找回失窃财物的房主之列。她已经将房地产经纪告上法庭,指控其在公开售房日违背职责,未有密切注视看房者和保护屋内财产的安全。但是被告经纪否认在本事件中负有任何责任,并指出委托售房协议中的一法律款免除他们对公开售房日活动中发生的一切损失, 包括失窃,负有法律之责。

Christina seems not among those lucky homeowners who have got their property recovered. She has taken legal actions alleging that the agent at the open house breached his duty of care by failing to keep track of visitors and to safeguard the assets in her property. But the agent denies any responsibilities in the incident, pointing out that a legal clause in the Listing Agreement protects them from any liabilities during the open house-- including theft.

 

虽然房地产经纪可能无需对本事件负任何法律责任,但在此前一些案例中仍有房地产经纪或是他们所属的公司对房主的损失做出补偿。比如Brenda Potter-Phelan的珠宝在2012年的公开售房日活动中被盗后,其房地产经纪就对她做出了慷慨之补偿,这种善意姿态当时曾被新闻媒体广泛报道。

While real estate agents may not be at fault under the law, there are cases where agents or their company made compensations for the homeowners' loss. Brenda Potter-Phelan, whose jewellery was stolen during a 2012 open house, was compensated by her agent. The goodwill gesture has been widely reported in the news media.

 

Christina的房地产经纪以及Royal LePage公司是否也会以类似的善意姿态,令身为老客户的Christina提供一些补偿以令其满意呢?Royal LePage公司在回复《大中报》询问的电邮声明中称:“鉴于本案诉讼正在进行中,我们目前无法发表具体评论。Royal LePage的品牌是建立在信任和诚信的基础上,我们会认真地对待Royal LePage客户所提出的问题。”

Would Christina’s agent and Royal LePage show similar goodwill gesture by offering some compensation to Christina, to make her, a repeating client satisfied? The company responded to Chinese News inquiry in an emailed statement: “The matter is currently in litigation and therefore we cannot comment on specifics at this time.  Royal LePage brand is based on trust and integrity and we take very seriously any concerns expressed by Royal LePage clients.”

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