Dutchie Management, keys and Locksmiths

I would not normally put characters to screen in this way, but it seems that Alexandra Maria Varga & her crowd from DMS, or Dutchie Management have a growing group of ex clients who all claim to have totally deserted and their money, documents and keys effectively stolen.

In the past 2 years, around 14 clients of theirs have come to us, in total despair, with claims of missing rent (for up to one year).

Today alone, a group of 3 owners of Greenfield Residence apartments came to us stating they cannot reach Alexandra Varga since September, they have no keys, no rental contact details and of course you guessed it, no money. Last anyone heard was that Alexandra had fled to Spain.  If you know anything about her whereabouts, please get in touch with Ilfov Police department as we understand there is a growing list of criminal complaints mounting up against her and her ex team.  It is not bad enough that many of her clients were apparently cheated by her life partner, an MRI manager, with a criminal conviction who did prison time for financial irregularities with his clients.  See MRI-SG support group website for more details on that.

The biggest problem, ignoring untold thousands in lost rent each month, is the fact that owners have no keys and having changed many ex DMS managed apartments, I can say that there is no cheap solution. If the door has been locked with a key, you need a new door (circa 600e). If it has just been slam closed, you can break in using a locksmith, open the door & change the lock (circa 400e!).

If you are a victim of Dutchie Management Greenfield and want to be put in touch with other owners, please get in touch.

 

 

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The Romanians are coming….thank god!

Like many educated people with experience of Romania, I cringed when I saw the carefully selected rubbish that the UK’s Channel4 produced about the Romanians in the UK.

But what do I know? Well….

In the past month alone I have in equal measure spent time in my native London & Surrey, been in cancer hospitals, all sorts of social interactions in the UK, been in Bucharest’s mayhem working till 10pm daily, in the Carpathian mountains, in Brasov’s quite bars and clubs and even in Sicily for Valentine’s break And spent an evening with a senior member of the Irish embassy.  Quite a life style for just 4 weeks.  But this is normal for me. I keep myself busy. I do things, see things.

I have lived among Romanians for 7 years straight, I employ 11 of them and interact with a great many more.  Sure, they have their vices.  Passion for earning money is one. But so does every nation have its unique characteristics That others criticize.

But I do know this. The Romanians I know are a God fearing, respectable, gentle people who care about family, personal presentation, manners and dignity, gifted with a quick mind and slow temper. They can learn a lot from the UK, such as being charitable, or keeping their word in a deal. But the UK can learn much more from the Romanians as many of the qualities I mention above are a lost art in the UK. Think I am wrong? Could your mother walk home at 11pm in the UK? In Romania , generally speaking, there is no hour at which this would be unsafe in any town centre or city centre in Romania, excluding unlit country roads etc for risk of a bad driver or wild bear!  The concept of street rape, mugging or street beatings are as alien as free diamond samples in supermarkets.

So, to the hard working, striving Romanians who have been working hard and contributing to British society for over a decade, I apologize for this tabloid-like misrepresentation by Channel4 tv. Those who know you, know this is not the real picture of the Romanian people.FB_IMG_1424725060056 FB_IMG_1424725057897 FB_IMG_1424725055941 FB_IMG_1424725053866 FB_IMG_1424725051726 FB_IMG_1424725049550 FB_IMG_1424725047430 FB_IMG_1424725045001 FB_IMG_1424725042798 FB_IMG_1424725040249 FB_IMG_1424725037206 FB_IMG_1424725035030 FB_IMG_1424725032924 FB_IMG_1424725030480 FB_IMG_1424725027971 FB_IMG_1424725022031 FB_IMG_1424725019572 FB_IMG_1424725017247 FB_IMG_1424725014664 FB_IMG_1424725011761 FB_IMG_1424725008527 FB_IMG_1424725005823 FB_IMG_1424725003496 FB_IMG_1424725001105 FB_IMG_1424724998460 FB_IMG_1424724995768 FB_IMG_1424724992174

Trust me. I’m a real estate broker!

As we enter another growth year, I thought it worth taking the time to reflect on how we can help buyers, investors and existing owners of Romanian real estate.

Now in our 8th year in Brasov and Bucharest, we have a significant amount of experience in most aspects of investment property, and good contacts for where we dont have the internal expertise, such as mortgages, legal help and company administration.  Many of our clients have come to us in desperation from other service providers. You don’t move property managers easily. Moving you bank is easier & how often in a lifetime does that happen?

So if someone moves from their Property Manager, there must be Continue reading

Interesting legal challenge on Romanian vehicle Pollution (a.k.a import) tax

Source: European Union Press Release database

The pollution tax introduced by Romanian legislation, levied on vehicles on first registration in Romania, is contrary to EU law

That legislation has the effect of discouraging the import and placing in circulation of second-hand vehicles purchased in other Member States

Romanian legislation introduced with effect from 1 July 2008 a pollution tax payable on first registration of a motor vehicle in Romania. The legislation does not distinguish between vehicles manufactured in that Member State and those manufactured abroad. Similarly, it does not distinguish between new and second-hand vehicles. Continue reading

Romanian Culture and Lifestyle

The Romanian culture is rich in complexity culture and traditions. The distinctive culture of Romania is a result of its historical evolution. The culture has been imbibed from the Dacians, who had occupied the area in the past. One way in which the people of Romania showcase their brightly coloured ornaments and costumes is during the traditional dance during the major festivals. Beautiful traditional woven carpets, wood hand carvings, pottery and clothing are just some of the elements of traditional Romanian culture. Intricately decorated Easter eggs, painted glass and Icons painted on wood substrates art are among the special folk arts of Romania. These items can also be found in many shops, street markets and vendors near tourist attractions throughout the country. Continue reading

Mysterious places to visit in Romania – part 1

Gugu Peak 

Gugu Peak is located in the Godeanu Mountains, close to Retezat Mountain national park, (altitude of 2291 meters, 25 km from Poiana Mărului).   Tourists come every year to visit the area, which is one of the strangest in Romania.   It is said that at certain times of day, the parts of mountain disappear and in addition, unusual phenomena happens.

Legends say that this on mountain once resided Zamolxe and therefore, the mountain was a holy place.  Here it also believed that Decebal hid part of his treasure, believing that the spirit of the High Priest will hold back the plague of time. Inhabitants of the mountain are called Gugulani and are known for their longevity of life.  They put everything to the fact that the area is full of energy. Many tourists say they have also seen the mountain tip disappearing and even explosions of light shooting out of the mountain. Continue reading

Expat Accommodation costs in Bucharest – by area

The capital city Bucharest is rich in its history with beautiful Art-Deco, Art-Nouveau, Baroque, Byzantine and Bauhaus structures lining the cobble streets. If you want to live in Bucharest then this article will point you in the right direction.

Accommodation in Bucharest comes in a variety of forms and will suit all types of Expat. Certain neighborhoods appeal more than others for Expats and are characterised by price, population density, proximity to nature, shopping, transport or nightlife. The old city in the centre is the most famous place for party nights. The more upmarket northern area is perhaps better suited to the more outdoorsy type with many parks nearby. The Northern Suburbs have several new housing constructions and being further out from the city, is ideal for those who enjoy quieter neighborhoods. The central area is perhaps the most popular by volume of requests and offers good value for money, while the central east is more working class but still desirable. The central west is far less preferred. Continue reading

Press Release: White Mountain Property reaches its 7th Birthday.

white-mountain-property-2014-logo.jpgWhite Mountain Property – Renowned and Reliable Real Estate Agency for Property Management, Sales, Rentals and Renovation – Bucharest, Aug 11th 2014.

“The management of Romanian property has never been so easy before White Mountain Property started its operation 7 years ago in Brasov and now it has opened a new office in Bucharest to celebrate its 7th Inauguration Day in August. White Mountain Property is apparently the only real estate company in Romania that manage property from as far as Brasov, Bran, Bucharest, Sibiu to Constanta and offer real estate rental, sales, renovation work and now even landscape gardening of personal and commercial properties.”

Continue reading

The real cost of using a real estate agent to find a rental property

Real Estate Agents in Bucharest – a helping hand or a source of frustration?

I read on many so called help sites that all agents, or the majority should be avoided or simply cheat client’s, or provide no added value. They go on to advise people to go direct to the advertising sites such as OLX. Imobiliare etc and to deal with owners directly.

I speak as an expat myself, a professional landlord with a personal property portfolio, a property manager for over 6m euros of other people’s property and in addition, as a manger of agents in this domain.

Yes, some agents and in particular, in Bucharest do indeed deserve to be avoided. But so do some landlords and so do tome tenants.

Let us speak about landlords. When a property owner advertises directly, they may be doing so without any advice on how much to charge for his offering, nor what quality level to provide, not what should be included in the contract. Continue reading

European Fair of Castles to premiere in Romania

Romanian Real EstateThe first European fair of castles to be held in Romania will take place next year at Corvinilor Castle in Hunedoara between May 1 and May 13, 2015, Agerpres reports. The event, hosted by the Hunedoara Town Hall, is aimed at promoting the touristic potential of the old continent’s historical monuments.
Organizers of ‘The European Fair of Castles’ have already launched the first invitations to museums, castles, palaces, and fortresses throughout Europe. At the fair, exhibitors will present their offers and advertise the major points of touristic and historic attraction for the visitors.“Corvinilor Castle, the host of this event, is one of the most important Gothic architecture monuments in Romania and one of the first fairy-tale castles in Europe, which bestows certain prestige upon this event. This prestige will be strengthened in time as more and more exhibitors and visitors join our efforts and increase the event’s popularity,” Costin Tinca, director of Corvinilor Castle Museum, stated. Continue reading

IAR Brasov to build Airbus Super Puma helicopters

Friday, July 25, 2014

The shareholders of IAR Brasov, a company controlled by the state, decided to lay at the disposal of Vadstena, a company registered by Airbus Helicopters in Romania, a piece of land of 15,000 square meters, for the manufacture of Super Puma helicopters in Romania, as well as the indirect participation of Airbus Helicopters Romania to shareholding, a company report sent to Bucharest Stock Exchange shows.  On that land Vadstena will build an industrial warehouse of 8,550 sq.m., for the manufacture of Super Puma MK1 in Romania.The shareholders entrusted the Administration Board of IAR and the executive directors to negotiate the land contract.The land will be laid at Vadstena’s disposal during the carrying out of the project for the manufacture of Super Puma MK1 helicopters in Romania but no more than 99 years, while the price must be at least equal to the one established by an authorized evaluation company.

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Hey, the Romanians are coming! LEACH & LANG EXPERIENCE

White Mountain team visits Poland (13)I am a great believer in benchmarking. Why reinvent the wheel if someone has beaten you to it.  Also, you don’t have to wait for competition to arrive before you sharpen your processes. With this in mind, I contacted Tom Leach at the much respected Leach & Land property company in Poland a few years ago & we kicked around ideas to help each of our companies learn form each other, to improve for the benefit of our clients.  We stayed in touch & this June, 2 of our crack team at White Mountain made the epic 1000km drive to Krakow to spend a week in the company of the team at Leach & Lang.
Continue reading

DIY SoS / Client SoS

A quarter past midnight. Just finished carrying a washing machine to the 5th floor.  I’m jotting this down before a 4am departure for my 6am red eye flight to London so I don’t forget. Why am I sharing this story? Because this piece of work defines the sort of team we have & the lengths we go to when up against adversity, to assist clients.

3 months ago an Irish client came to me to ask me to sell his property at 20% below market value because he was exhausted by continually being burned in his Romanian real estate venture. In this case partially at the hands of a locally based Irish property management company & partly at the hands of bad tenants.  After 5 years of ownership he remained with a run down, tired & broken apartment in Dimitrie Cantemir street, off Unirii Blvd with the most horrible quality & poor condition furniture you could ever imagine.  Continue reading

LONDON — They’re portrayed as pickpockets stealing British jobs…

LONDON — They’re portrayed as pickpockets who will steal British jobs. There are predictions they will beg, the unruly young ones will stir up riots, and some will even try to sell babies.

For months, Britain’s tabloids have repeatedly warned of the horrors they believed would ensue after Jan. 1, when work restrictions were lifted across the European Union for migrants from Romania and Bulgaria — two of the trading bloc’s newest members. Those changes, the papers claim, will unleash a mass exodus of the poor and unemployed from the two eastern European countries to Britain. Continue reading

Bad property manangement experience at Greenfields or Sydney Residence, Bucharest

 

We have helped numerous clients in recent months at both Sydney Residence and Greenfields in Bucharest as there previous property management company has gone into free fall collapse. The range of issues has been pretty diverse but all include missing rent, missing furniture, unpaid taxes, unregistered contracts etc etc. Continue reading

Discover Transylvania

Mystical Transylvania is brimming with history, from its Gothic castles and medieval towns to its multi-ethnic heritage. Here you can experience German and Hungarian roots, through music, culture and costumes, and these are brought vibrantly to life in the festivals that take place throughout the year. Transylvania is surrounded by mountains that are teaming with rare wildlife and impressive glaciers, and you will be stunned by the natural beauty of the area. As more visitors are drawn to Romania, many of them decide to settle in the fascinating region of Transylvania and explore its cultural heritage and many attractions whilst benefiting from the economy.

Attractions

Bran Castle is situated near Brasov and is linked with Prince Vlad Tepes, who inspired the Dracula legend. Locals have a strong bond with the story and the 15th Century Prince who resided here makes a compelling focus for visitors. Brasov itself is a well-preserved town from medieval times with impressive Old Saxon buildings and ruins. Sighisoara features a citadel with spectacular views, a 14th Century tower and secret passageways that wind their way through the town, whilst Sibiu is renowned for its pastel houses and quaint, cobblestone streets to enchant visitors. Continue reading

Struggling with your unresponsive Bucharest property manager?

We have had a number of clients come to us in total desparation in 2012 & many more in 2013 having had a terrible experience with their Bucharest property manager, to use the term generously.  I have so far avoided writing this post as I do not wish to publically discredit competitors. The good ones do not deserve that treatment & the bad ones do it to themselves. Continue reading

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