To Whom It May Concern,
On March 22nd I and a group of 5 other over 40year old parents went to Rio de Janeiro in Brazil. We rented an apartment through RioManagement.com. We found this company through VRBO.com whom I have used in the past and had great results. The person we were in contact with and had all business dealings with was Martin Stockl. This was a horrible experience and never in my life have I been treated so poorly by a human being. I am writing this to warn anyone ever
interested in using this management company or this man to rent an apartment in Brazil from to please avoid doing so.
I found this penthouse apartment on VRBO.com (Inquiry for property #326508). Upon contact Martin insisted we make an immediate decision and send the deposit immediately (The apt was $3475.00 for the dates 3/22-3/31).
The apt appeared to be very nice online and had pleasant reviews( We later found out 2 of the reviews were written by the women who work for him-2 women named Vivienne) We did as instructed and were never given a contract to sign or any other information other than to bring the balance and a deposit. Upon arrival we were instructed to call a number and we would be met at the apt. We arrived at 11pm on Friday night and immediately called a variety of numbers that were not picked up. Finally at one number a man, Reynaldo, picked up and told us he was running behind schedule because he was letting someone else into an apt. We patiently waited over a half an hour sitting on the floor outside of the apt in the street. When Reynaldo showed up he rushed us into the apartment and asked for our final payment and deposit immediately because he had to go back and let people into the previous apartment because they never arrived while we were sitting on the floor outside the building. He had not time to show us around the apartment or to give us any instructions about the neighborhood we were in. He was very anxious and rude. We had never been to Brazil and had no idea where we were at. We soon found out the Favelas were right behind our building, which explained the variety of police cars down the block that remained parked there.
We also soon found out that the apartment was dirty, dusty, had numerous electrical and lighting issues, leaking air conditioners, only one TV that wasnt working, a burned through ironing board and a toilet seat that was not screwed in. When we emailed Martin about the issues we asked for a different apartment and he emailed us back stating that we should be happy we were not in a hostel and that he had no other apartments.
On Sunday night we were in the apartment listening to music through a 1 watt iPod adaptor. It is important to note that this penthouse apartment was a floor above any other apartments. The police arrived at the door and asked us to lower the music. We immediately turned off the music. That was it. On Monday evening upon returning from a day at the beach were stopped in the middle of the street by a man who asked us if we were staying at the penthouse apartment. This man was Martin. We were finally meeting this man. He immediately began ranting and rudely telling us that he had been sitting in OUR apartment with all of our personal belongings for the past 4 hours waiting for us.
He had all our numbers, yet he never called any of us and instead chose to let himself into the apartment while we were not there. He aggressively attacked us about the apartment and the police showing up asking us to lower our music. He accused us of having other people in the apartment and having a party which was completely false- we had been there 2 days we knew no one nor had we met anyone. Please remember this was taking place in the middle of the street. As he reprimanded us he told us that we would have to pay a noise violation fee of up to 5 times the rent of the apartment. If we did not
pay we would find our belongings in the street or be arrested by the police. He continued to tell us that Americans were
not liked in Brazil and that police were not there to help us. He never asked us our side of the story and every time we asked a question he became exasperated and even ruder. He stated that we would have to wait at the apartment for him the following day to find out the violation fee and pay it immediately. He also stated that we would have to go to the police and show that we had paid the fine.
The following day he arrived late and told us we would have to pay a $1360 fine being given to us by the condominium management, not him. We never received any document that stated we were being fined, the violation or the fee.
He gave us a rent receipt to show us that we were paying double the rent and we should be happy it was not five times the rent. Some of us did not have the cash on us and he told us it had to be paid within the hour or he could not control what would come next. Through fear this man completely bullied and swindled us out of very hard earned money. He returned
and we paid him the money and were given a hand written receipt which did not have any company letterhead. Suddenly
there was no need to go to the police and suddenly he wanted to talk to us nicely about how he could help us get around Rio and that he would get us phones so we could communicate in Rio (that never happened).
It was like we were dealing with Jekyll and Hyde. When asked about going to the police to show we paid, he stated that there was no need because they would only be involved if he told them that we didnt pay. That same day we had to stay in the apartment while the electrician, maid, and air conditioner repairman all came to fix things that should have been taken care
of before we got there.
After this, the remainder of our trip was painful. We barely spoke to each other or laughed for fear we would get another fine. We never listened to music again. We found ourselves hushing each other constantly and fearful to go out because we didnt know if when we returned our belongings would be gone. Our trip was over the minute this man stopped us in the middle of the street. I guess we should have known from our initial contact the day we arrived. Another unfortunate side to this was it was the first time in over 40 years that any of us had ever left the US. We worked very hard to be able to go on this expensive trip and yet we were swindled for even more money.
Lastly, on our final day we asked Martin to arrive at the apt at 7pm so he could inspect it and give us our deposit. He was late.
We had a cab waiting for us and we tried to call him and of course the number did not work. He finally arrived at 730, stating that we had stated in an email 730. Not the case of course. I believe he was hoping we would be gone and he could also keep our deposit. At the present time, a week after we have returned, we are still awaiting a document from the condominium management company that states we violated their noise rules and that we paid the fine.
I find it necessary to write this letter to warn anyone from using this company or Martin Stockl to rent property from. We cant change what happened to us, but we can try to prevent it from happening to anyone else. Please be aware and avoid this company. He does not know how to do business with people, he is corrupt, he is extremely rude and he is only looking to hurt others and take their money. Please take the opportunity to warn all your friends about Rio Management and Martin Stockl.