On the agenda yesterday were two Greenfield Residence jobs. Same apartment type, same ex property (mis)manager, same missing rent payments, same history with stolen keys and documents. The Brief: get them secured, repaired, cleaned and rented out quickly. In fact, these are the 8th & 9th of this format!
The one thing about this job is it is never dull. My day started by taking 2 cleaning ladies through the morning gridlock to go clean, what can only be described as a semi-trashed apartment in Greenfield’s Topaz block. The history of this apartment is that it is owned by a British guy from Derbyshire, who hired the services of D*S Property Management, a by now infamously famous dishonest agent who simply pockets rent each month & avoids contact with owners until they give up & move on. When you consider that they have managed as many as 40 or 50 Greenfield apartments, you can see such rent runs into enough to buy a new car each month if simply pocketed.
So, back to the Derbyshire owner’s apartment. He lost contact with his PM at the beginning of the year. Finally he contacted us after months of trying to reach the previous PM, and now wanted to sell his apartment. We investigated and showed him the market values, which encouraged him to hang on for a few more years. He had very few papers, no keys, & no idea if the property was tenanted or not. So we did our research, determined there were no tenants, used a professional locksmith to gain entry, changed the lock and reported back that the place was really filthy, needed repainting & the furniture had been mostly eaten by dogs over an extended period.
400 euros later, the apartment was secure, re-painted & put back together. A second hand sofa has been identified to replace the current one. The 2 cleaning ladies worked in 36’c heat for a long day; I was even on my knees cleaning deeply ingrained grease from the oven. But alas, this is all behind us.
In a week’s time, British teacher will move in to start a 2 year contract & this will all seem like a small hiccup in a few months from now.
Breaking in through a window
So, with the cleaners at work, time to move on to the next apartment. A ground floor apartment again, previously mismanaged by D*S Property Management. Same MO. No keys, no contact. The problem with the Greenfield apartment locks is that they are heavy duty high security. If you cannot find the key and the door has been locked with a key, you have to cut a hole in the door to extract the lock from the middle. A noisy, messy, time consuming and expensive job.
So, we called out the locksmith, who very quickly broke in through a locked window (you think double glazing is secure but 20 seconds to enter says it is not. You have to fit an alarm system (200 euros) if you really want security. Once in, we discovered the lock was only slammed shut (like a hotel, you cannot open from the outside, but you can from the inside) so the lock removal and replacement did not involve breaking the door. Still, at 300 euros, plus 75 euros for the initial call out, it’s a nasty surprise. Thankfully, the apartment was clean and undamaged inside. So it will need a quick clean and can be rented out quickly to stem these losses.