Its not just us! Good news (well for us)

Ever wonder if a situation is just you? Maybe your looking at a situation the wrong way or your so close to it that you miss that your in the wrong. Well in our dealings with Friedlaenders we never really wondered this but we have since had confirmation that Friedlaenders have stuffed others around.

Charles Friedlaender I have had a few emails for different people, one of which have had extremely similar issues to us (I hope to write something about this soon) and another that was having trouble getting their bond back (although to be honest I am not sure if it was someone connected to Friedlaenders fishing for information)!

And the there was this from 2001!

A Caulfield real estate agent has been fined with 29 breaches over the operation of his business.

Victoria’s Minister for Consumer and Business Affairs, Marsha Thomson said Mr Charles Friedlaender and his company, Charles Friedlaender Real Estate Pty Ltd had been fined over breaches of the Estate Agents Act 1980, the Estate Agents (General Accounts and Audit) Regulations 1997 and the Residential Tenancies Act 1997.

“Consumer and Business Affairs Victoria (CBAV) will not hesitate to pursue estate agents who do not abide by the rules which have been put in place to protect consumers and customers,” Ms Thomson warned.

Some of the charges related to Mr Friedlaender’s failure to conduct security checks before appointing persons as agent’s representatives and his failure to notify authorities of the appointment of those representatives.



Shame, Shame, Shame!

Its bad enough that they refuse to return peoples calls but to “not keeping full and accurate accounting records of trust bank accounts, of drawing cash cheques against trust accounts and holding a tenant’s bond for several months instead of lodging it with the Residential Tenancy Bonds Authority within five business days” is very very bad for a Real Estate company.


If you have had bad dealings you want to add to this diary and warn other potential Victims  Customers of the problems they may have with Friedlaenders. Email me at or leave a comment below!




19 thoughts on “Its not just us! Good news (well for us)

  1. Luckily I have never had the misfortune to rent from Friedlaenders, however I have had to deal with Charles in the past.I must say in my opinion he is the rudest,most obnoxious,arrogant man that I have ever had the misfortune to deal with.I would hope that if anyone is considering using his services, they would check this website out beforehand and make their own mind up.

  2. Oh my god
    I have googled this real estate to grab a number for them and found this website. can I just say they are the most unprofessional company I have EVER dealt with.

  3. I have had a shocking experience with Freidaenders in Elwood!
    I was in my house in the shower when I heard someone entering the property.
    I was really scared and wrapped a towel around myself, went out of the shower to find one of the real estate agent there taking photos of the property!!!
    This was done without giving us any notification!!!!!!
    I am so happy to have moved to a new place and to not have to deal with this dodgy real estate any longer!

  4. Hi Missy,
    I have heard similar stories of uninvited property entries. We were lucky not to have this issue myself. We did get requests for access to the property that wasn’t by the book which we allowed in good faith. Unfortunately that good faith wasn’t returned!

  5. I unfortunately stumbled across this site about a month *after* signing on with FRE – while the landlord himself is an absolute champ and wants to keep me on at my current rate, FRE continually try to get him to raise it. Just yesterday I got an email from them saying that they are taking the offer of a renewed lease with a price freeze off the table (I was ten minutes away from heading in to sign the lease!), and that ‘they will review the situation in the next couple of months.’

    Is there an industry board that I can talk to about the treatment I get from them? I am only new to renting but I know that this treatment is complete bull, and I want to do something about it.

    Thanks, and sorry to see so many people are in the same boat!

  6. Hey TJ,
    The Tenants Union is a great place to start. They will give you great advice. Other advice I have for you: Document all your dealings! Keep a detailed record of all conversations (well at least times, what they were about and then what the next action was meant to be). Any emails or letters keep copies of. If it is a very serious letter, consider registered post or the like so you can get a record that they have received it. Try to give them nothing to get you for now or when you are planning on leaving.
    Best of luck!
    PS. As I learned this week and as someone else made the point to me in there case, if you are storing this information in electronic form, make sure you have a backup and probably an offline backup. GMail is a good hack way of doing this. Include something in the subject that makes it searchable and you will never lose it.

  7. Dear Molly,
    I laughed till I cried reading about Mr Obnoxious Charles.My experience with him goes back a little while and only out of boredom and wondering wheather he was still in business i googled the name.SHOCK/HORROR he still
    has a business & the REIV havn’t struck him off!!!!.Let me put out a challenge to your blog readers.(i can laugh now)
    I personally guarantee that in your life time and that of ALL your family and friends you will never meet anyone like Charles Friedlaender!
    He is…

    rude,ugly both inside and out,dishonest,intolerable,toxic,mean,unprofessional,illogical imbecile, lunatic,selfish,egotistical,takes pleasure out of others pain and frustration,if the devil had a brother it would be him! perhaps he is the devil!did i mention obnoxious if i did then he’s that twice,inconsiderate,NO morality,lyer,cheat,bald-headed bastard!!!!!
    So Chas ve Sholom (God Forbid) you are Meshoogeh(meshigeh) MAD enough to have anything at all to do with him,expect Tzures (Troubles) Now that could mean anything from your bond withheld untill you have the carpets cleaned 3 times the house/unit or flat cleaned,scrubbed and blessed by a Rabbi!!!at least 20 calls to him and he’s not in the office (HE IS) treatning phone calls and letters,your car damaged,and your sanity turned into Gehacter leber (Chopped liver)
    Now be honest do you REALY know somebody thats worse!!!
    He is an absolute disgrace.
    ps come to think of it the Rabbi wouldn’t come,he hates him too!!!

  8. These people are a disgrace! never in my life have I been dealt with in such a disrespectful manner…all potential renters sellers and warned!

  9. I just had a rather unpleasant chat with ol’ Charlie Boy not half an hour ago – he decided to let contract workers in while I was still paying rent without my permission. My girlfriend was over cleaning up the apartment (thankfully, we’ve moved out and hopefully will never have to deal with FRE in a month or two) and was quite shocked when these guys let themselves in (he was kind enough to provide them with keys!). He was very dismissive of the terms outlined in the Residential Tenancies Act, and merely said I could send them away ‘if I wished’ (he made no effort to contact them). I spoke to them over the phone and they refused to leave without a phone call from him. My girlfriend was understandably uncomfortable having them there but even more so with being put in the position to ask them to leave, and since he didn’t call they stayed there.

    I have forwarded this information onto Consumer Affairs. This comes after him harrassing me this week and asking me several times when I was moving out – I dunno, ask your employee that took my notice of vacation?

    What a slimeball! I hope he knows that the first thing that pops up when you google him is a complaints page!

  10. Hey TJ,
    Wow! Did Consumer Affairs do anything? Have you talked to the Tenancy Union about this and you other incidents? I also guarantee you that he will withhold your Bond no matter what you do. Have a look at the bond rules as I have a feeling that there is a clause that if the landlord or their Agent don’t inform you of you getting your bond back or something to this effect in Business 10 days of the lease ending or the keys returned (don’t quote me on this), you can claim your bond around them and they can’t make a claim against it (as I understand it). Here is a better explanation of it:

    So my advice, don’t ring them ever about the status of your bond. If they don’t let you know, lodge a claim to have it returned after 10 days have passed. As you know they are totally slack and probably won’t have it done in the 10 days meaning you might get your bond back without them being able to touch it.
    HTH (and isn’t too late).
    Love to hear how you get on.

  11. A suggestion. Now that Friedlanders calls itself Fre Real Estate, why don’t you add variations of this as a tag, because now if you google Fre, your site does not come up.

  12. Hi,

    We have had the worst experience with Charles and his team
    of crooks at FRE, I was renting in Elwood and got asked by
    Charles to produce car graphics for his livery.

    The proposal was refused, to find out the exact same design had been implemented soon afterwards.

    That’s what you call a breach of copyright, though I had other fish to catch than suing, thats for sure.

    E&E Design

  13. Hi,

    I to have had the misfortune to deal with Charles, he is by far the rudest most unprofessional man i have ever met.

    A few years ago i rented a house through fre, for unknown reasons he told me i had to move out at the end of my lease, i was obviously devastated but had no options so i packed up my stuff found a new property and moved on. I went to fre to organize my bond being returned for charles to inform me that i had to pay another 28 days rent as I hadnt put my lease termination in writing……WHAT! he told me to leave!!!! When i went to speak to him about this, he spoke to me in the most unprofessional way (lets just say there were tears…lots of tears). Strangely enough a few months later lucky me, was told that my new house was going to be taken over by fre, my new estate agent did everything to get us in a new house quick, she felt so sorry for us because she also had been a tenant of his.

    Im only writing this to make everyone out there aware that this man is horribly mean and sneaky, you will live to regret getting involved with this real estate.

  14. Hi Molly,

    This is a repeat of what someone else mentioned about adding “variations of this as a tag, because now if you google Fre, your site does not come up.”

    I’m still currently a tenant soon to be “ex-tenant” thank god, the higher power and the universe!

    I will eventually post “my story” when i move out!

    Thank you for making this site!!

  15. My time with friedlaenders was sheer and utter hell! I’ll submit more when I speak to my solicitor!

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