We rented a home from this company in February of 2011. Everything started out well enough, the walk through was clean and the walls were freshly painted. My roommate and I had some initial concerns about the lease, but we were assured that their company had hired 2 separate attorneys to look it over and that it was air-tight ... If only the roof was as sturdy as hey claimed their lease to be.
First of all, they asked us for our bank account numbers and account balances, on the rental application!! Clue #1.
After about 6 weeks of moving in we got our first big rain storm of the season and we discovered several leaks in th roof when buckets of water started pouring into the living room. We immediately contacted the property manager at the time (who was also co-owner of Platinum Realty Management) and she was out of town on vacation but told us that she would send someone over to get it taken care of right away. Someone did come out, they covered the entire roof with a tarp and stated that they would return when the rain stopped and the roof was dry to perform the repairs. He never came back.
After 1-2 months of the blue-tarped roof, it started to blow off in the wind and the roof was leaking again. We made countless calls and wrote more emails than we can count to the property manager, management company, and property owners we were told that they were "still waiting to hear from the insurance company." They sent someone else out to re-secure the blue tarp, and then cover the entire house in black plastic sheeting.
The black plastic sheeting remained on the roof for an additional 6 weeks before we finally realized that the roof was never going to be repaired. We opened an escrow accounts, started withholding rent and made a call to the local code enforcement division. Eventually it took 2 months worth of rent and a 15-day notice from the City of Orlando in order for them to answer phone calls and emails, the entire roof was replaced 2 weeks later.
Come to find out (through talking with the neighbors ) that the house had been through 2 different severe storms/hurricanes unrepaired. When the property owners found a new house, they essentially abandoned this house we were renting, essentially Using it as storage for all of their junk. The house sat empty for over a year, deteriorating its condition until someone came in and threw a fresh coat of (mis-match) paint on the walls presumably to start generating income.
The problems continued to come when we started finding half eaten oranges in the yard and rat poop on our kitchen counters. They sent a professional (licensed and bonded) out to inspect the problem and offer and estimate. It was clearly too high because they took the estimate and sent someone out in an unmarked pickup truck to spray expanding foam insulation in all of the holes, screw the attic closed, and set live traps. With peanut butter. They also got livid that the professional inspector shared his findings with us!!! I believe we have the right to know what we were living in! Rats and rodents carry a lot of diseases and we also had 2 dogs who could have gotten seriously I'll if they came in contact with one.
Problems with the plumbing too! One day while showering and doing laundry at the same time (apparently a big no-no at this property!) the grey water system began to back-flow and flood the entire back of the house. It flooded all underneath the carpeted bedrooms and the wooden floors in the hallway. Our emergency plumber came out and ripped the toilet off and rooted the pipes then left. We had to clean up all of the water throughout the house with our personal towels and sheets. 2 days, and several phone calls later, we had yet another stranger in an unmarked vehicle come out and vacuum up any of the water that hadn't dried up or started to mildew under the floors. To this day, the carpet hasn't been replaced and shows water stains, the drywall is rotting and black, and the wood floors are buckled.
99% of the "grounded" outlets in the house weren't actually grounded, merely replaced the original 1960's 2-prong outlets with newer modern plugs, without properly grounding them. The kitchen light "fixture" was a half-assed track light screwed to the ceiling and wired to an extention cord cut in half, twisted with wire nuts, and run to a plug in the wall. The 220v plug in the closet was wired for 120v, so the dryer drum would turn but not heat, and the washer drum would fill with water but not spin!!! A joke.
We should have gotten a clue when we took possession of the house and there was a combination dead bolt on the door. "where are the keys?" we asked. "oh you don't need them, all you need is the combination".
What if the battery dies?!? Then they got an attitude when we asked to have keys made for the front door. They didn't have to bother with the back because the bottom lock didn't have a key, and the deadbolt on the back was broken. And the garage door didn't close all the way!
OH! And the concrete block wall in the back was being uprooted and falling into the neighbors yard and garden all year. That still remains to be fixed. Guess he will have to call code enforcement also!
Even with all of these problems, we had conceded to resigning the lease because it was less complicated than packing up and moving again. The day we were supposed to meet at the leasing office the house was overrun with one of the largest swarms of subterranean termites Orlando has ever seen (according to the person who came out to remedy it). In excess of 250,000 termites came out to mate, swarmed around the house, and died on the floor. Of course this happened at 2pm on a Friday. We waited for the pest control person to come out, they sprayed a contact insecticide to kill any termite that continued to swarm, and told us these swarms typically last 3-5 days.
The entire inside of the house was sprayed from the floor, 3-feet up the wall with chemicals. Barely able to breathe, we were assured that "these chemicals are OK for you and the dogs. Just let them dry". Not knowing what to do (and having family in town staying at the house!) we boarded the dogs and checked into a hotel. We then received a rather crass phone call from the property manager saying "no one told you guys leave the house, we are not paying for your hotel." They also expected us to go home and clean up all of the 200,000 dead bug bodies ourselves!!! Not once did the property manager, owner of the company, or owners of the house come out to we exactly what was going on with their 'beloved' property.
Two days after moving back into the house we had another swarm of termites!! When we called the property manager and explained what was happening again, we were told "it's part of living in Floida. Deal with it.". THAT was the answer you have?! Just DEAL with it!!? We packed and sold everything we owned and were out of the house 10 days later. Up until the time we left we never saw any pest control, any indication of remedying the problem before the next unsuspecting tenants moved in to our nightmare.
The days before we were out for good the foundation started sinking and the bathroom tiles started cracking. Eventually the base of the toilet cracked and the toilet started tipping over. This property management company was ABSOLUTELY the worst company I have ever dealt with in my history as a renter. My advice to anyone thinking about renting anyone of their properties, RUN IN THE OTHER DIRECTION!!