West Allis apartment showing's timing questioned, 'I'm in the bath'

A West Allis father says he and his family lost their sense of privacy after a real estate agent brought potential buyers inside. It happened while he was in the bathroom.

The entire exchange lasted no more than a minute, and at first, Derek Yurkiewicz just thought it was odd, but when he reviewed his surveillance cameras, Yurkiewicz says his perspective totally changed.

It was about 2:30 on Thursday afternoon, Jan. 26. 

"Hello, we're here for the showing," said the agent. 

"What showing?" said Yurkiewicz.

You can hear the surprise in Yurkiewicz's voice in the video. The West Allis father of two was taking a bath and not expecting anyone but his kids about 45 minutes later when the real estate agent walked in.

"I said, 'Can you please leave? I'm in the bath,' and he goes, ‘Oh, sorry,’" said Yurkiewicz. "He apologized, and he goes, 'We're leaving,' and I heard the door close, and that was the end of it."

That was the end of it until he reviewed one of five surveillance cameras around his apartment. Surveillance showed the agent whispering. 

"OK. I was gonna say look in here real quick just to..." the agent whispered. 

"OK, we're gonna take off then," the agent said in a regular voice. "I'll lock it back up on my way out."

"That was the part that blew me away, when he lied," said Yurkiewicz. 

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Yurkiewicz posted the video on Instagram, saying all he wants people to know is that something like this can happen.

FOX6 News took the video to Nick Tomen, an attorney focused on housing at the Legal Aid Society of Milwaukee.

"It seems like, pretty clearly, they weren't following the law here," said Tomen.

The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection's statutes governing landlord-tenant relationships prohibit unauthorized entry, but Tomen said he wouldn't get much for punishment.

As for Yurkiewicz, he just wants an apology from the agent and his sense of security back.

"Completely invaded, lied to, trust is out the window," said Yurkiewic.

FOX6 News reached out to Shorewest Realtors, selling the building. The general manager of sales said what happened here never should have happened because the buyers' agent, who works for a different company, was only supposed to show the downstairs space.

He added that his team goes through extensive training to respect tenants' rights.

The Greater Milwaukee Association of Realtors is investigating and confirmed the buyers' agent is a member of their organization.

"Under the code of ethics, A Realtor® cannot enter a property, or allow access to a property without permission. We impose fines of $5,000 for unauthorized access to a property," said Scott Bush, GMAR VP of operations.

The GMAR's Grievance Review Committee is reviewing the case.