Author Topic: flat maintenance issues - no new stove  (Read 2635 times)

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Precarious Armada

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flat maintenance issues - no new stove
« on: December 20, 2012, 01:06:35 AM »
Prior history -
My flat has a very elderly electric range (2 stove rings, hot plate/griller, oven). Some time ago, the large ring stopped working and the repairman was unable to repair/replace parts due to the age of the range. I opted to keep it with one unworking burner, as the oven was very reliable. In november the oven stopped working and with an inspection due on the 29th I opted to wait to tell the property managers then.
My kitchen light also stopped working in November and replacing the flourescent bulb and starter didn't fix it.
I informed the property managers of both problems on the 29th at the inspection.

About a week and a half ago, I contacted the property managers and was informed that they had just got permission from the landlord and had contacted the tradespeople, and I should be hearing from them soon. I still haven't heard anything. No phone, no message, no text. I just contacted the property managers by phone (the people concerned were not in the office but somebody took a message).
I just sent off an email
Quote
Dear Property Manager,

On the 29th November 2012, my property was inspected and I informed management of the following issues;

- The electric stove unit (oven, griller, stove top) no longer had a working oven. Previously one ring on had stopped working and the repairman had been unable to repair it due to age.

- The flourescent light in the kitchen no longer worked. Replacing both light tube and starter failed to fix it.

It is now 20th December 2012 and I have still not heard from the tradespeople regarding fixing either item. I am not happy, especially regarding having no working oven this close to Christmas. Please contact me as soon as possible regarding these issues.

Yours sincerely,
Precarious Armada

Two questions;
How is my wording for the email?
Am I being too patient?

starry diadem

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Re: flat maintenance issues - no new stove
« Reply #1 on: December 20, 2012, 03:41:14 AM »
(i) here's some suggestions


Dear Property Manager,

On the 29th November 2012, my property was inspected and I informed management you of the following issues that needed immediate resolution; :

- The electric stove unit (oven, griller, stove top) no longer had a working oven. Previously one ring on had stopped working and the repairman had been unable to repair it due to age.

- The fluorescent light in the kitchen no longer worked. Replacing both light tube and starter failed to fix it.

It is now 20th December 2012 and I have still not heard from the tradespeople regarding fixing either repairs have not been made or scheduled, nor replacements offered.  I am not happy, This would be unacceptable at any time, but is especially so regarding having no working oven this close to Christmas.   Please contact me as soon as possible regarding these issues.

[Check that this next bit is indeed covered by your lease - I can't imagine that it isn't!]  The lease requires you to provide basic cooking facilities and lighting and you are currently in breach.  I expect an immediate resolution.


and

(ii)  Yes, you are being too patient.  These are basic services that you are paying for with your rent and they are not bothering to provide.  They won't hurry things along if you don't push.  But really, you shouldn't wait for an inspection to tell them there are problems like this - they are then left with the strong impression that you don't much care, so why should they worry about getting things resolved for you.  Squeaky wheels, remember!





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YummyMummy66

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Re: flat maintenance issues - no new stove
« Reply #2 on: December 20, 2012, 06:16:00 AM »
Yes, you are way too patient. 

I would be calling them today and letting them know that if you do not have a new stove by the end of today you will be calling the codes department.  (But, since you say flat, I am assuming you are out of the US? and may not have a codes department?).  In the US, living without a stove is unacceptable. 

Or you could tell them, that since they waited so long to fix what needed to be done, you might just have to wait really long on their rent.


LeveeWoman

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Re: flat maintenance issues - no new stove
« Reply #3 on: December 20, 2012, 06:31:52 AM »
You've already sent the e-mail, and I think it's fine.

Your patience is extraordinary. I'd have been at the management's office tap-dancing on someone's desk--or, doing the equivalent over the phone and through e-mail--by the end of the first week in December. You should do this now.

WillyNilly

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Re: flat maintenance issues - no new stove
« Reply #4 on: December 20, 2012, 08:32:31 AM »
Just to be totally clear - are they responsible for providing a working oven? In my city a landlord mus provide an oven or a refridgerator, not both. Now obviously many do provide both for lots of reasons, but they only need to provide one of the two.

Either way they should be doing something and yes I think you've been too patient. I also doubt having waited this long and so close to the holiday that you will see anything done before the new year.

Precarious Armada

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Re: flat maintenance issues - no new stove
« Reply #5 on: December 20, 2012, 09:49:13 AM »
I'm in Australia. They don't have to supply a fridge, but they do need to provide a means to cook food. In this case, since I already have a microwave and a slow cooker, it isn't urgent. My "patience" is partly due to being new to renting (I only moved out of my parent's house 3 years ago) and partly due to mental illness issues. Normally they're good about getting in tradespeople promptly, which is why I didn't really pay attention to how much time had passed. And the landlord let me rent this place straight from living at home, knowing I had a mental ilness and had a dog. While technically I"m covered by a letter from my psychiatrist re owning a dog being an essential part of my therapy, it's easy for landlords to not say "no", but let to somebody else. Basically, when I leave, I have to have the carpet steam cleaned by a company of the property manager's choosing. Normally in Victoria landlords can only insist on the property being cleaned to a reasonable standard, I think.

MrTango

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Re: flat maintenance issues - no new stove
« Reply #6 on: December 20, 2012, 10:27:03 AM »
To answer your questions:

1) Your wording seems fine.  It's direct but not rude.

2) Yes.  I'd suggest filing a complaint with whatever government agency oversees landlord/tennant issues.  In some cases, serious maintenance delinquency (and these are pretty serious) can result in the renter not having to pay rent until the problem is resolved, but that depends on your local laws.

Twik

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Re: flat maintenance issues - no new stove
« Reply #7 on: December 20, 2012, 11:28:59 AM »
If you're new to renting, remember the saying about squeaky wheels and grease.
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PastryGoddess

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Re: flat maintenance issues - no new stove
« Reply #8 on: December 20, 2012, 12:06:20 PM »
Do renters laws in Australia allow you to withhold part of your rent if you have to pay for repairs/replacements out of pocket?

Precarious Armada

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Re: flat maintenance issues - no new stove
« Reply #9 on: December 20, 2012, 06:47:09 PM »
Update: got an email at 9.30am this morning to say that they'd sent out the work orders and they'd chase up the tradies today.
As I've said, the property management company is fine in general, it's the tradies that are variable in quality.

The one exception to this rule was the employee at the property managment company that defrauded the landlord by making lots of false claims for maintenance, a lot of which were attached to my flat. Tradesperson who was supposedly doing these repairs claimed that I was swearing at them and generally "crazy". They also told my neighbors in the apartment block this. Fortunately they were found out, due in no small part to their claims being not at all how my mental health issue manifested themselves. That, and they defrauded a lot more.
Since then there have been no problems with the company or the tradespeople who turned up.

TiredMum

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Re: flat maintenance issues - no new stove
« Reply #10 on: December 22, 2012, 05:39:21 AM »
If you are in victoria go staight to VCAT (or similar in other states) fill out the appropriate form (they can post it to you).  Frankly  this has been the only way I had to get an outcome in a satisfactory time frame.  Ignore the real estate agent when they tell you to fill out their form.