Geneive Lsz
map-marker Malvern, Pennsylvania

Kiss your money good by. Over $10,000 missing from my account. Taking advantage of a family in a health crisis

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Mike Lautensack and his "team" at Del Val Realty & Property Management were hired to manage two buildings, total of 12 units, two were occupied. Their task was to make 10 apartments rent ready, * (8 were newly rehabbed and just need cleaning for dust basically), fill the remaining vacancies. I am a property manager and real estate investor with 30 years experience of rehabbing and managing real estate. Due to a family crisis and personal medical issue, I need to take a year off. Just a few high lights: *Over $10,000 missing and unaccounted for. * Rents and deposit funds collected never forward...their 6% commission is really %100 *Collected security funds are GONE. * 8 Nice newly renovated apartments sitting vacant in a good market, sitting vacant for 3 month at a loss of rent approximately $15,000 per month. *The 3 apartments that need repairs and paint are just sitting......but the rehab money is gone. *Doors and windows of vacant apartments left sitting wide open in freezing temperatures creating safety and maintenance issues. *I was presented with an "assignment of leases" that made me responsible for last month's rent and security deposit funds that Mike and His team collected but never forward to me. When I asked that the funds be forwarded to me in order to assign the leases properly I got no answer. So I have no assignment of leases to conduct business. *I have to evict a tenant they placed without my approval of the lease. The tenant has no valid lease but does have an attorney who has advised him not to talk to me and not to pay rent. The Tenant is effectually squatting on my property and is behaving badly, like leaving old furniture and trash on the shared front porches of the building. *Showing the other apartments is next to impossible since this Del Val tenant has decorated the building in "Early Dumpster" style. *Contract for management ended/cancelled October 24, 2017, however they would not agree discontinue their rights to hold funds and be the exclusive agents for the buildings for 60 days. Holding my still empty buildings hostage because legally no other agent could manage or show the building with out Del Val's agreement and signature. All requests to settle honorably and amicably have gone unanswered. Can this be viewed as anything other than just mean spirited. They knew the financial hardship they were causing me my husband and my children. *They said they needed 60 days to do a final accounting so by December 24, 2017 I should have received a statement. It is now January 7, 2018 and nothing has been received. The buildings were under their management for 76 days. How long does it take a legitimate bookkeeper to complete a final statement for 76 days? Still no password to access documents and no final accounting. * The missing rent money (approximately $15,000 a month x 3 1/2 month's) was to pay mortgages, creating incredible financial stress on me and my family at an already difficult time due to illness. **Consequences, my buildings were left to sit empty for 3 1/2 months, now in the dead of winter with record breaking temperatures. So I am forced to heat 10 vacant apartments out of my pockets til they are rent during the worst time of year to show and rent apartments. *Contract ended. They claim the can not locate 36 keys to the building, work shops and mechanical rooms they were given....How were they managing the buildings with no keys? How did they plan to respond an emergency call at the buildings? I was even charged for making multiple key copies. Are the so petty that they would not return keys necessitating an immediate call to a locksmith to change out all my locks and another bill to pay? *Three times I had drop in checks on the buildings. Each time at lease one or more doors or windows were left standing unlock, wide open. One night below freezing weather windows to mechanical room containing water supply pipes to eight units, sitting wide open . Had pictures taken and forwarded to Mike and the team no response. *Gave keys to Tenant for move in without and inspection for safety and condition issues. Tenant moved in with not a single working smoke detector out of 5. That tenant reported the apartment was filthy. I was billed $300 plus 20% mark up for "professional cleaning" of the unit before move in. * Took NINE days to respond to a gas leak report. Thank God the tenant kept the windows open! Their response was an unlicensed handy man, who could not trace the origins of the leak and did not know enough to shut off the gas feed to the appliances. When I inquired is the gas was at least shut off Del Val could not say, and sent another handyman out to check. *Eight visits, all just under $300 for the same complaints. They also promised the tenant a new stove....and new plumbing to a sink that only need an air raider (cost $1.75) without consulting with me or determining that was the source of the leak. There is more lots more it is incredible, but I think you draw your own conclusions from the highlights They come across slick and friendly. Cute you tubes about what a great company they are. (They were not my first choice, I was to sign a contract with another company with stellar references. That owner died suddenly the night be for I was to sign. The company attorney suspended everything. I was in a scramble to get management due to health.) I now conclude the positive reviews for Del Val are phony (or like a broken clock is right twice a day) since the incompetence and shady businesses practices I experienced appear company wide. *They placed the one tenant, rent significantly below market. Without even sending me notice of a lease or getting my signature, the place is under lease. My Signature was to be on each lease. ****So now Del Val has the lease with the tenant and is no longer managing the building. Del Val Refuses to turn over the leases and security deposit funds and last month's rent. I have been requesting for 90 days. Tenants are pissed! So am I. Honestly the worst company I have ever dealt with. I can't put in to words how disgusted I am by them, the losses I have suffered and the horrifying way they treated my tenants. Perhaps they thought due to my situation I would not be monitoring the buildings, advertising, tenant complaints or cash flow. They were hired the end of August. by October 14th over $10,000 money and rents disappeared. I had no bids accepted or presented on work I asked for bills, documentation. Mike "dismissed" the contract October 24 th "wishing me well" Mysteriously my password to my accounts and document portal no longer worked. They did not cooperate with resetting so I could have access to where $6,000 of my deposited money went or what happened to thousands of dollars of rents and security deposit funds or even the contact information or lease for the tenant they placed. Their contract guarantees that no repair or work over $300 would be done without the owners notification review and acceptance of the bid. Total scam. They just break up invoices into just under or at $300 separate invoices. Example cleaning a vacant apartment charged as $250-$300 each level in a three story building. Bill total several thousand dollars to dust and vacuum 1200 square foot apartment. Get the picture? Approximate cost of service? I included loss of rent from vacancies, rents not forwarded and rehab funds deposited and missing. Damages OVER $55,000. This review is the least I can do for fellow investors looking for legitimate management.
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  • Did not return phone calls for me or my tenants
  • Price gauging
  • Properties sat vacant for months huge loss of income
Reason of review:
Money gone, apartments left sitting vacant

Preferred solution: Mr Lautensack should loose his real estate license. Company must refund security deposits to my tenants, return all other funds taken fraudulently. Also pay damages for loss of income for letting 12 apartments sit empty.

1 comment
Geneive Lsz

Tenants were given keys to move into an apartment with no smoke detectors and a gas leak. Company took over 9 days to respond to complaints.

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Colby Hager

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