A fair question may be why we selected such a place to rent. Well, it was the nicest property we looked at in our housing search. There is such demand for housing in the Dublin area that there is a lack of incentive for property owners to put even minimal effort and money into upkeep. They know properties will sell or rent regardless.
Another question that may be raised, "but what about the relocation support company--didn't they have a responsibility to look out for your interests and ensure the property was cleaned before tenancy?" Yes, they should have. But they didn't. And when you get keys and check in the night before the moving van arrives with all your stuff, there really isn't time to insist cleaners be sent in to whip the property into shape.
So, we documented the dirty condition of the property as best we could, and went back to our temporary flat in the city for another night. The next day, move-in day, I had a few hours to buy cleaning supplies and do the best I could before the moving van arrived. I started with the floors as I figured at least then there would be a relatively clean surface to place our stuff. The carpets had not even been vacuumed, let alone steam cleaned, and the wood & tile floors downstairs were impressively soiled.
This rug got rolled up while wearing gloves.
|Smelly Hairy Rug Covered in Stains|
I mostly got the floors swept, mopped & vacuumed just as the moving van pulled up in front of the house.
Cleaning the floors was just the beginning. Over the next few weeks, between unpacking boxes and all the little time consuming things that come with relocation, especially international relocation, I cleaned.
|This was good to go again in their minds. Ew.|
|That's more like it.|
|The kitchen cupboards held their own in the grime department.|
|Left Side: I cleaned. Right Side: To be cleaned.|
And cleaned some more...
The overall level of mold growth in the property is impressive.
|No, that's not a swarm of insects outside the window. It's mold, on the inside.|
I know it was hard to believe when I told people it was taking me about an hour to clean each window. This is the dirt, grime, and mold that came off of just half of one window pane (about 1.5 sq. foot area). There are 2 - 4 panes in the windows. And about 8 windows in the house. So lots of time spent cleaning just the insides of the windows.
|After wiping one half of a window pane.|
|Mold in Master Bedroom.|
Without opening every cupboard and closet door when viewing a house, it can be difficult to find hidden damp and funky smells. There were a few unpleasant discoveries as we went along.
|Ceiling of Built-in Wardrobe in Office. Very stinky too.|
|Cleaned up a bit.|
The thing is, if each of these issues had been attended to and cleaned as they happened, it probably wouldn't have been such a big deal. But they were left unaddressed and got worse over time, growing in to big, time consuming jobs.
|Dirt, mold, and even dog hair.|
|Same window. Just, clean.|
|Is it dirt? Is it marked? Or wait for it...|
When you go over it with a cloth and nothing comes off, but then you spray it with a bit of mold remover. And voila!
|Yes, yes it was mold. Somehow.|
And there was the cleaning of the stained, dog hair-covered, & damp smelling curtains. The wiping down of the walls (because really, there shouldn't be old splatter and drip marks in the living room and bedrooms). And the bathrooms--while not as bad as they could have been, I will spare the pictures in this post.
So after hours upon hours of cleaning, countless disinfectant wipes, many pairs of disposable gloves, and a few bottles of various cleaning agents, most of the house is no longer offensive, but has almost reached a neutral state.
There are still some things that need to be addressed, but for now, I can sit in my living room on our new couch (the sofa set that was here when we arrived was broken, hairy, and had that special dog bed smell) and enjoy looking at our Christmas tree.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!