Friends don’t let friends rent from Paramount Properties, part 2: this is not the apartment you’re looking for.

This is the second in a series of posts on why Paramount Properties in general, and Greenbank towers in particular, is bad for you. If you’re contemplating a move to Ottawa, or moving from somewhere within Ottawa, this company should be avoided at all costs. For more information, beyond what will be in these entries, just ask.

Moving into a new place is hardly ever fun. there’s the making sure you didn’t leave anything behind in the old place–I’ve done that about half a dozen times already, the making sure you’re not having to chase half your services all over the countryside and then some, the criss-crossing–and, subsequently, the uncrossing–of just about every scheduling wire known to exist, and all this before the first week of your move is over with. The last thing most people want to be adding to their laundry list of moving related foolery is the nailing down of your property manager so you can therefore nail down an equally lengthy list of problems with the new place that need to be addressed–especially when most of it was supposed to have been addressed, or scheduled to be addressed, already. That was us, at around the beginning of October.

the fun actually started before the official moving day, although most of that fun was–surprisingly–out of the property manager’s hands. Before we could move in to the new place, the guy what lived there needed to get his crap and get out. Problem: he had no bloody idea when he’d be doing exactly that. He’d give the manager one date, then change his mind a day or two later. So actually finalizing things was a bit of an exercise in migraine. Still, we knew there’d be problems with the apartment–mostly because we were warned the guy what lived there before us had absolutely no problem whatsoever with not, you know, looking after the place.

When we went in to see the place, to say it was a bit of a war zone was putting it nicely. The door to our storage room was off its frame, and leaning against the wall inside the storage room. Several–meaning most–of the light switches were missing outright their fixtures. there was a hole in the wall of one of the bedrooms. Closet doors were damaged. The screen to our patio was off. The place needed desperately to be painted (that part they told us before we moved in). The list goes on. We were told, before we even moved in, that either before we moved in or shortly after, the property manager would get someone in there to fix things up. Promised, even, that yes, manager lady knew it’d be a wicked hot mess, and it’d be taken care of pronto. It’s why we had no problem signing paperwork, and making arangements so that when, finally, the place was actually vacated, we could move our crap in.

Due to the nature of how things ended up happening, we didn’t get moved in until the day before someone else was scheduled to move in to the old place. So naturally, they didn’t have a whole heaping helping of time to go on a fixy fixy binge before we got our hands on the place. Not helped by anything was the fact when the guy what used to live there took off, he took the keys for the place with him–so priority numero uno became let’s make it so we can actually, you know, lock the place when we leave. That part, at least, we didn’t need to go chasing a fix for–swap out the locks, bring the lock from the old apartment down to the new one, replace the lock on the old unit, bing bam boom have a lock see ya later. It was the rest of it that we got to go fishing for.

The day after we moved everything in, I went to the rental office myself. Here’s the laundry list, in its finalized form. You said it was bad, you were right–this is how bad. They’d get someone in this week, manager lady told me. As soon as humanly possible, but we’ve had a lot of moves, she said, so you might need to wait a bit. We waited a bit. The week, if we’re being honest. No one came knocking. we still had a hole in the wall. We still had no storage room door. Oh–and we found a couple more surprises to add to the list, which was done when I went to ask manager lady why that list hadn’t been touched yet. I got much the same, complete with an I’m sorry I thought it was done already, and she’d have it taken care of this week, as soon as possible but definitely this week. Not holding my breath, and the thought starting to nibble at the outer edge of my mind that we’re kind of pushing the boundaries of legal territory (keep in mind, by this time we’d started speaking with a lawyer due to the last episode), we were prepared to have this drag out until we found somewhere else to move to–we’d started looking pretty much by this point as well, largely as a result of part 1. The money we paid into that place, and it looked almost like someone decided to throw a going away party, then went away before the cleanup crew got there to bill them.

A second week went by. No repair person. No phone call about a repair person. Supposedly the repair person was telling folks he’d been by, but the state of the apartment said no he damn well hadn’t. This time, manager lady was prodded in writing. We got the same general response back. Now, this *was* getting into legal territory. Legally, the landlord has about 2 weeks to address any concerns or issues with the apartment after a move. They were pushing three. And in writing, that was pointed out to them. Once again, repair person would be by this week, as soon as possible. No, that wasn’t going to work. Not unless there was going to be issues upon issues. Repair person was going to be by no later than the next day, or holy hell would there be issues upon issues.

Repair person indeed *was* by the next day. And, much to my shock and amazement, most of what was there actually did get fixed. Somewhat. We had a door to the storage room again. We had working closets. He had to replace the screen for the patio–but we had a screen for the patio. We still had a hole in the wall, but he did come back later on to fix that. Oh, and proper light switches for a change. Well, mostly. He ended up not fixing a few of them, as we’d find out later on, but by then we’d just given up on the whole idea. The place still hadn’t been repainted, which was the one thing they wanted to do shortly after we moved in–because, they told us, this is what they do with all their units in between tennants and if they had the time, it would be done already. And there were still a few things on that list that just generally went untouched, but again, we’d given up with chasing them for it. We were done with this hot mess, whether it was done with us or not. As it turns out, that was probably the smartest move we’d made since this entire soap opera started–we’d see proof of that shortly after we’d moved everything out of that unit.

Paramount Properties, and Greenbank Towers, talked up a good game. But where it came time to translate that into actually getting things done, they passed the buck, dragged their feet, and generally just put off what, at the end of the day, we were paying them for. If they even had documentation that said we were in there to have these things addressed, almost no one read it–confirmation came again after we moved everything out, and will be explored in another entry. They’ll tell you what you’re hoping to hear, show you a sample of the things you’re looking for. But after you sign the papers and everything’s settled, Paramount Properties is not the apartment you’re looking for. In a future entry, Paramount finally starts to show us what they’re all about, for real–and we get the feeling we’re not *really* as welcome as they tell you you are. But as for now, two very good reasons to maybe bump Paramount Properties down a knotch or 5 on your list of possible living arangements. You can, and should, do much better. I’ll even give suggestions, if asked. No one running a business this shot deserves your, or anyone else’s, money. Not even sweet-talking ones.

4 comments

  1. JA

    As a soon-to-be escapee from a Paramount Property, I feel your pain. In the years we’ve been here, so many repairs have been “forgotten” and NEVER gotten to. The few that were completed were slow, and done incorrectly (… just ask my not-bolted-down toilet)

  2. Paramount Properties Management

    Hello James,

    First, on behalf of Paramount Properties Management, I would like to thank you for taking the time to write a review about our company. Our customers are the most important part of our business, so we’re always grateful for feedback that can help us improve the overall experience we can offer.

    We were very disappointed to hear that you had a negative experience moving at one of our buildings. Although you no longer live there, we would like you to know that we have addressed the issues you raised directly with the onsite managers at this particular building so to ensure that no other tenant of ours – current or future – will encounter these issues again. Once again, we thank you for taking the time to provide us with this valuable feedback.

    Moreover, we were deeply concerned upon hearing of your experience with us because we are committed to putting our customers first. For decades, we have prided ourselves in our ability to offer outstanding customer service – anywhere from offering onsite building management at all our buildings, to 24hr onsite emergency management services. These are just two examples that set us apart and demonstrate our ongoing commitment to customer service and satisfaction. We believe it is this unsurpassed dedication to our valued customers that has helped to set us apart from our competition, making us one of the top property management companies in Ottawa, with over 7000 apartments across the city.

    Thanks again for taking the time to write about your experience with us. We hope to see you in one of our buildings again someday!

    Sincerely,
    Jasmine (on behalf of Paramount Property Management)

    • James

      Thanks for dropping by, Jasmine. I’m just going to point out a few things here right quick and let you do with them what you will. The stories aren’t just related to moving, by any means.

      There’s a whole other entry on stunts Paramount Properties pulled that I’d strongly encourage you to read. And that goes farther up the chain than something you can blame on the property manager, I’m afraid. The cliff notes version: I could have sued, won, and put Paramount Properties 6 feet under. I didn’t, but only because I was fed up and leaving by the time the thought crossed my mind–the events in this entry helped make that decision for me.

      Nearly a year after I left that building, I’m *still* getting people dropping mail my way from other buildings that tell me the exact same story. Oh, and let’s not forget I still talk to folks from Greenbank towers–not much has improved since I left, so say those folks.

      I’m still considering writing that part 3, but let me let you in on a little something. When an employee is threatened for actually developing friendships with the people in the building where he both works and lives, you know there are problems at a company level. You can’t change the face of the company, in that building or any other, and expect a different result if the same people behind the scenes are handing the same orders to those faces. That, Jasmine, is Paramount’s problem. Until and unless that problem is addressed, and addressed in a major way, I know several people who’ll be running, not walking, away from Paramount Properties in general and Greenbank Towers in particular.
      James recently posted: Death of a 5-year weekend. Or, an epic crash course in college mobility.My Profile

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