Complaints pile up against realtor

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HASTINGS, MI (WILX) -- A woman is out more than $3,000 for a home she can't even live in.

Amanda Mekkes sits outside her home she says she can't even live in because of all of its problems (source, WILX).

She called us when she wasn't getting answers from her realtor.

Amanda Mekkes thought she had found the perfect house, she even went on tour before moving in and didn't see anything wrong with it. But she says after moving day, all of its undisclosed problems began.

"I was trying to get on a good opportunity. You know, before 50 other people got ahead of me and I was frauded. I was taken advantage of," Mekkes said.

Black mold, out-of-date wiring, no hot water, a broken furnace, and leaky faucets are just some of the problems Mekkes has experienced since moving in. She says she rented the house through a realtor named Tracy Baker. and when she brought up the issues with the house, not much was done.

"I got excuse after excuse. She has strung me along for over a month now."

The conditions of the home were so bad that Mekkes was forced to move herself, her four kids, and three dogs elsewhere. Her kids are with family, and she is sleeping in her car while she tries to figure out what she is going to do.

"This house is not habitable," she said.

And Mekkes isn't the only one. Cindy Smith tells me she was the one who initially sold the house to Baker. She says Baker had her sign a document that gave ownership to her, but kept it under Smith's name at the bank, causing her credit to plummet.

"As it went on, it was like three or four months until I realized that she's not doing this. I kept pushing her and she wasn't making payments so my payments were being paid late and my credit was getting worse. It's continuing. This woman is screwing people over left and right," Smith said.

News 10 was able to talk to Baker over the phone about the accusations. She says she didn't know of the bad condition of the house and tried to fix the problems as the came up. She says she plans to refund Mekkes her money and paid Smiths payments on time.

"Three of the houses that I have right now took a hit because of that bad winter. So I think what have here is the product of a really bad winter. When people call, I try to get somebody out there," Baker said.

But to the people who are experiencing it, it's too little too late.

"She's committing crimes. And I am telling people about all these crimes that she's committing and nobody cares. I want answers," Mekkes said.

Mekkes has a lawyer and is planning on pressing charges against everyone involved. We'll keep you updated.

Baker is also a part of Hasting's Downtown Development Authority. The city tells us there's no conflict of interest because she doesn't have any authority in her role.

A spokesman says she has stopped renting the house because she doesn't have a permit.

For tips on how to make sure the property or realtor you are looking into is legitimate, click here.

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