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Israelease - stay away

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posts: 9
Israelease - stay away

The whole experience was horrible. We were told the penthouse was not available. We were offered two 1 bedroom apartments instead which was not what we booked and then they tried to charge us more. After that someone came into the apartments and said he was the owner and we broke in even though the supposed owner through Israelease gave us the keys. Finally we got the police involved and we had to leave and find a hotel instead. We are now suing Israelease and it is our goal that no one should ever lease from them again. Do NOT lease any apartment as they were awful and offered no help or support when we called them with our problem. STAY AWAY.

israel
Destination Expert
for Tel Aviv, Galilee, Israel
posts: 12,317
reviews: 33
1. Re: Israelease - stay away

Please post the address of the apartment(s). This will help us deter others.

Ottawa, Canada
Destination Expert
for Jerusalem, Galilee, Tel Aviv
posts: 4,466
reviews: 81
2. Re: Israelease - stay away

What a nightmare for you. So sorry to hear of this terrible experience.

I looked at their website and noticed that you pay through Paypal and that the payment on the site is Paypal certified. You may be able to recoup your deposit through Paypal. If you paid on arrival by credit card, your credit card can also refund.

What has been the response of Israelease to your complaint? This clearly is a case of fraud, maybe involving Israellease or maybe involving a third party pretending to be an owner. It is Israeleases responsibility to ensure that the apartments they advertise are legitimate and you are their customer.

Please post a follow up with the response of Israelease to this situation and let us know if you were able to recoup your losses.

Thousand Oaks...
Destination Expert
for Israel
posts: 8,658
reviews: 13
3. Re: Israelease - stay away

To say this is a case of fraud is just plain wrong.....

basically, we have only heard one side of this story in the form of a complaint from a one-time poster.

To besmirch the name of a company based on this is not right.

Dr. Z

Ottawa, Canada
Destination Expert
for Jerusalem, Galilee, Tel Aviv
posts: 4,466
reviews: 81
4. Re: Israelease - stay away

drill-n-fill you are right that I shouldn't have used the word 'fraud'. I know of this happening to someone else but it wasn't in Israel so I think my view was not very objective.

The company is Paypal verified so that does say something and give the consumer protection.

We will see if the OP returns with more details.

NYC/Israel
Destination Expert
for Israel
posts: 24,124
reviews: 17
5. Re: Israelease - stay away

Unfortunately, there are a huge number of apartment scams in NYC and paypal doesn't seem to help. (in NYC you deal with both scams and legality--basically you can't rent out your apartment for less than 30 days)

Haifa, Israel
posts: 1
6. Re: Israelease - stay away

Just be careful not to imply that people should stay away from Israel. Unethical behaviour is just plain wrong anywhere, by any people. But most of our tourists are happy, and I have met many, many return visitors.

Don't let a bad experience from one company or even one man cause you to think ill of all Israel. I've been cheated in NYC many times--I don't blame NYC as a whole.

I am sorry that you suffered at all--I am sure that no one deserves that!

posts: 9
7. Re: Israelease - stay away

The address was for 122 Ben Yehuda but this address does not exist and they tried to put us in two 1 bedroom apartments (instead of a 3 bedroom penthouse as we booked) on Yeshurun just off of Ben Yehuda. These apartments were nothing like the penthouse we were promised and only provided 2 bedrooms instead of 3 - not enough room for my family and split us up. As I mentioned in original post once we got to the apartments they tried to charge us more and then ultimately some man walked in, said he was the owner (vs. our contact through Israelease who gave us the keys) and started yelling at us that we broke in and had to leave. When we called the owner of Israelease and asked for them to help us as we did not know what to do for our family they replied by saying "I have my own family to worry about" and offered no assistance.

Please note that we had a great time in Israel nonetheless. With the exception of this incident we found Israeli's to be super friendly and accomodating. For example, a taxi driver led us to a tire repair shop when our rental car got a flat. I posted this because the Israelease.com website offers no true service or protection. You are much better off leasing an apartment directly through the owner on homeaway.com (as we did in Jerusalem which was a great experience) or vrbo.com or airbnb.com. I wish someone had posted about Israelease.com before I made a booking with them.

posts: 9
8. Re: Israelease - stay away

This post is a warning against the website israelease.com. We had a great time in Israel and encourage everyone to visit as it is amazing. Just book a hotel or an apartment directly with the owner through a reputable website such as homeaway.com, vrbo.com or airbnb.com.

posts: 9
9. Re: Israelease - stay away

It was fraud. The apartment I booked did not exist. The address is 122 Ben Yehuda is not a real address which is what the police told us when we got them involved. The booking agent who gave us our keys told us that the penthouse was unavailable due to renovations to one of the bathrooms (which he never told me when I called to confirm a week prior to arrival.) Moreover, he refused to show me the original apartment when I asked to see it.

Luckily, we only paid a booking fee which we are trying to dispute with PayPal. However, the letter of PayPal's complaint policy says it does not cover "real estate." Thus, we are not sure how they will handle this. The purpose of my post is to warn people against using israelease.com vs. booking directly with an owner through homeaway.com, vrbo.com or airbnb.com. Israelease.com is just a 3rd party listing service and it is buyer beware.

Tel-Aviv
Destination Expert
for Tel Aviv
posts: 6,098
reviews: 9
10. Re: Israelease - stay away

122 Ben Yehuda is a real address:

http://goo.gl/maps/dCv2G

I assume that you meant that the apartment you booked does not exist in that building (or you have posted the wrong number).