Totally Frenched Out

From the blogger formerly known as Samdebretagne

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

A couple of you asked if we ever figured out why it was so cheap. And that answer to that question is YES. After signing the lease, we came back to do the Etat des lieux, and that's where we realized just how much work we had ahead of us. During our first visit, we'd only seen the potential of the place; during the second, the reality of it all hit us.

A lot of the walls looked like this, which meant first having to scrub them clean, smooth them out and then repaint:And then there was this lovely carpet that had to be removed and replaced:And the state of the balcony:The biggest project though was having to clean, sand, clean again and repaint the nasty shiny pale yellow paint that covered the kitchen and bathroom walls. Also, notice how the shutter switch is taped to the walls - probably half the plugs in the apartment were like that:And here's another example of the paint in the bathroom closet - it was just so darn grimy. How do people live in such filth?
Also, why is it so acceptable for people here to leave their apartments without cleaning them first? Every apartment I've lived in has had to be scrubbed down from top to bottom before we could move our stuff in. The previous tenant here left crumbs in all the drawers, a couple boxes of food in the kitchen and some old tupperware on the shelves. How is that okay?

I think this experience has taught us both that we aren't cut-out to be renovators. I suck at decorating and don't enjoy painting, so it was a pretty long month. Plus I was working poor C pretty hard - most nights we were up until at least midnight doing travaux. I'm telling you, the man has the patience of a saint. Luckily almost all of the hard work is done now, and we mainly just have unpacking to do now. And I'm really happy with how it turned out. Maybe I'll post some before and after pictures once everything is put away.



Blogger Katia said...

Ew ew and EW. You must have had to work your BUTTS off!
Our new flat had been cleaned from top to bottom by the previous tenants and their cleaning lady. There were a few things that needed to be done, but we had been in contact with the previous tenants and we did the entrée-sortie état des lieux at the same time, so they had an additional pressure to leave it in a good state.

September 1, 2010 at 10:43 AM  
Blogger Rebecca said...

Whoa, that sounds like a LOT of hard work! I hope you thought to negotiate some free rent in exchange for doing clean-up and repair work that is usually the owner's responsability or for which money from the previous tenant's deposit has theoretically be kept to finance!

September 1, 2010 at 11:36 AM  
Blogger Ksam said...

@Rebecca - nope, no rent negotiation - which is why it was 200-300€ cheaper per month than it should've been. Though we are hoping to get some money back from her deposit due to the HOURS and HOURS I had to spend cleaning the place before we could even start renovating and/or move in. Who knows if we actually will though. But either way, I think all of our hard work will be worth it in the end - it doesn't even look like the same apartment anymore (minus the gawdy orange flower tiles in the kitchen LOL).

September 1, 2010 at 11:56 AM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

People leave places in the most disgusting conditions in Italy, too. Once a landlord here called me up after we've out to tell me he had never had anyone leave an apartment in as perfect condition and as clean as mine was when I left it. And it didn't seem to me that I'd done much at all.

Hope you post after pictures too!

September 1, 2010 at 2:21 PM  
Blogger shannon said...

Eww! But I know what you mean! I had to do a lot of cleaning when I moved in here (still doing some as I had to buy supplies little by little). When I left my room at the lycee, I scrubbed it clean after each year even though I know there's a cleaning lady who comes. I just couldn't bare for her to think I was some kind of slob since we knew who each other was.

September 1, 2010 at 2:51 PM  
Blogger au soleil levant said...

Wow, I can't believe someone lived like that, and left it like that for the next tenants! I can't believe how much work you guys had to do. Sounds like your slave labor was well worth it though. Can't wait to see pics of how everything looks now!

September 1, 2010 at 5:35 PM  
Blogger Juli said...

It looks like the cabinets and door hardware is nice so that is good. Good "bones" which is probably what you saw in it initially. I think the tiles in the kitchen are charming but I can be more old fashioned than you young-uns! It looks very nice, the windows look great. Can't wait to see the afters!

September 1, 2010 at 7:11 PM  
Blogger wcs said...

It's always satisfying when it's done. I hope you do post some before and afters. Looks like it will be a nice place.

September 2, 2010 at 8:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Our apartment was in very good and clean condition BUT when we were looking for a place we saw some shocking examples. One place had cigarette butts and beer and shampoo bottles lying around. So gross.

September 2, 2010 at 10:07 AM  

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