Property manager collects rent, doesn’t pay owners

Ken and Peggy Kirsch contracted a company to least out their home, but though a renter is living there, they haven't been getting checks. (March 29, 2014)

HASTINGS, Mich. (WOOD) — A Hastings couple is suing the man they left in charge of renting out their home when they moved to New York last year.

Ken and Peggy Kirsch contacted Michael Anderson, the owner of One Step Realty, to sell or rent out their Hastings home in July of 2013. The home was leased in August to a woman for $1,000 per month.

“She has paid her security deposit and has paid her rent. And One Step Realty quit paying my clients as of November of 2013,” said Brad Gee, the Kirsches’ attorney.

They have filed a lawsuit seeking $8,100 plus interest, costs and attorney fees from Anderson.

According to documents obtained by 24 Hour News 8, the Kirsches entered into a contract with One Step Realty in 2013. A month later, One Step Realty leased out their house.

But state records tracked down by 24 Hour News 8 show that One Step Realty was operating as an assumed name for Micand Inc, a company owned by Anderson. One Step Realty dissolved as a company in 2005.

That has caused the Kirsch’s attorney to question the legality of both contracts.

“The problem here is all the contracts are between the tenants and the homeowner and One Step Realty. So in essence, these contracts don’t even exist,” Gee explained.

This isn’t the first time 24 Hour News 8 has been tipped off to Anderson’s shady practices. In 2009, he failed to send rent checks to a West Michigan couple who moved to New Hampshire.

The tenant of the Kirsches home told 24 Hour News 8 she has paid all of her rent to One Step Realty. She said she is now going to be sending her checks either to the Kirsches or their attorney.

When 24 Hour News 8 went to One Step Realty offices on 28th Street Wednesday, the door was locked. Calls were placed to Anderson’s cellphone and his office. An email was also sent. Messages were not returned Wednesday night.

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