Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Watch out-- Scoundrel of a landlord!!!

This is not a Peanut or baby related post, but I simply want to publicize the questionable practices of our previous landlord in Finland. If anyone knows of a renters organization or agency in Finland where I can report him, pls let me know. I'd like to warn any other potential renters about him.

He rents out his apartment located at Itäranta 3B7 in Tapiola.

here's our version of the story - feel free to contact him for his:
> As we were initally viewing the apartment with an agent from Sunny Trading Oy, we noticed a few items that we said we would like to see improved before renting.
> The agent from Sunny Trading said he had discussed them with the landlord (aka, Mr. T) who was agreeable to painting the apartment and treating the cabinetry in the kitchen.
> When we go over to sign the lease, Mr. T is there and then backtracks on all the improvements. He finally agrees to only paint the kitchen.
> It also happens that the previous tenants are there - a Taiwanese family. We spoke with the man who said 'don't rent here - he doesn't take care of maintainence'. Well, we didn't listen. There was also a dispute going on about some water damage that Mr. T claimed they caused to the wooden floors. The previous tenants said they did not, but were having to pay. There was also an issue about the hallway carpet which Mr. T insisted was given to him by a previous renter, but they claimed they bought. I was translating this between them so I know.

So, we were a bit trepidatious. As we moved in, we had Mr. T come over so we could put in writing any existing damages. Instead of giving him a cash deposit, we made a Takuvakuutus with Pohjola insurance. It is essentially there to protect the landlord in case we failed to pay our rent or there were damages when we moved out. Pohjola would be the mediator and pay out damages.

In the meantime....
> We had to purchase our own doorbell (he claims its up to the tenant) = 20 EUR
> The outlet in the bathroom blew - he came over scraped off the singed parts. It didn't have a flip cover which is actually required of all 'wet-room' outlets so Peanut's dad replaced it for our own safety = 20 EUR + LABOR.
> We placed mosquitoe netting in the bedroom window = minimal EUR + labor.
> We added a multisocket outlet to the kitchen = 20 EUR + labor.
> We gave him two other multisocket strip cords as we couldn't take them with us when we moved = 40 EUR.

As it happens, our move to Dallas came up two months after we moved in! We knew the lease had an 'early move out' penalty clause, so I called him right away in July. We didn't yet know the date because it depended on Peanut's Dad's visa application.

We didn't get a confirmed move date until 2 weeks before it was scheduled at the end of Sept. So, I called Mr.T who immediately said we'd owe him the next month's rent + the early move out penalty (approx a month in rent). A hefty to sum which we paid in full.

On our last day there, we did a final walk through with Mr.T. Checked the condition of all rooms carefully. Agreed that everything was satisfactory and that he would mail in the form to Pohjola ending the Takuvakuutus. We shook hands on it.

Well, I emailed Pohjola the other day to make sure all was in order.

It wasn't. They said he had not yet returned the form (its now DECEMBER) and verbally made claims for water damage and cleaning.

UN-freakin-Beliveable!!! Its still an ongoing discussion, but I'm outraged. This man is as stingy as they come. He has not made any improvements to his apartment and apparently will not - fine - that's his right. But, to try and squeeze extra pennies out of every renter with these flimsy claims is disgusting.

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