sunnuntai 5. helmikuuta 2017

Pick your apartment wisely

This is important folks!

When you move to Portugal it is good to have some standard knowledge of the apartment you are going to live in. applies also for Spain... and probably any country :D 

Jumping into a time machine, taking us almost two years back, when we moved to Lisbon with Swag N or Nik

It was the end of Summer (in Finland), late August, when Nik left ahead to find an apartment for our one year stay in Lisbon. He went to solve the apartment situation while I was packing our old apartment in Finland. Dude, it should have been the other way around. A 160 cm tall girl dragging all furniture and packing things together is not a good combo. I learned my lesson. 

The apartment situation was not too good since many students (about 10 000) move into Lisbon each year. The apartment range was small, extremely small and expensive. All apartments seemed to have a problem which we could not overcome. In the end we found a relatively good flat in Bairro Alto. It was in the budget range we set for ourselves, 800e. (It is expensive in Portugal). We even made the contract with a housing agency to have a legal back up, which later on did not work at all. Since the agency did not care. 

We moved in. 

One month later the rains started. I was casually at home doing my homework when suddenly it was raining inside the apartment. Crap. I put buckets (and basically anything I found from the kitchen) beneath the worst dripping places. I called the landlord and told him about the raining inside. 

Two days later the landlord shows up to see a completely soaked roof. Determining on his face it was very bad. But then he casually said "It will dry in the Summer, lets find the hole and cover it." OK?? Two weeks later the roof was re-painted (in a nice yellow tone that showed the moist coming through). The painter man also broke our vacuum cleaner (small thing), which we never said nothing about because there were worse issues. Like the roof. 
Next Spring it leaked again. But then we had had enough, since we also had mold in the apartment caused by water between the walls.. it was also touching the electricity wires.. but that was overseen by the landlord... Nik (Swag N) also had aggressive attacks of allergy, eyes watery and swollen 24/7, cough, asthma... 

In November I spoke sufficiently Portuguese to understand what our bills said. I figured that the landlord was asking us to pay water every month, although water is paid every two months. So when I pointed this thing out, he turned all bills to his home and started sending images of the bills instead. Which is illegal, but who cares. 
In January we had a whole year estimate payment of 250 euro of electricity we had not consumed but had to pay anyways. We were also getting tight on money at this point. 

In April we found a new apartment and decided to move since our contract with the old apartment was about to end. We cleaned up entirely the moldy smelly household, left it very pretty. 

In June when we were in Finland the landlord, who did not want to come visit the apartment for a last inspection (for a 10000 different reasons) said that we have left the apartment in an extremely bad shape and the vacuum cleaner was broken. Therefore, he did not want to pay us the deposit. Excellent. 

Then I returned to Lisbon in July to have an argument with this landlord (and give back the keys which I refused to give until he paid us back). I told about Nik's asthma, showed the mold, explained the vacuum cleaner and said that we cleaned the whole apartment. Then the landlord started accusing us of not paying bills?? What?? So I had to collect each and every single payment we made to show him that nothing was missing. Which was not. 

Conclusion. After a massive fight we had 550e back of our 800 euro deposit, because the vacuum cleaner (still working) was broken. 

I took the money and ran.

A picture from the street we lived in. The houses are built over 200 years ago.