When I was a student, we had a cheapskate landlord/agent. He/They also had a lot of relatives so when things *did* get done it was always by one of his brothers/sons/cousins, not by a professional. Quite a few of the relatives were recent immigrants and didn't speak much English, whcih made communicating what needed to be done difficult at times.
Some of the highlights:
- A leak from the bathroom, which meant that water came through the living room ceiling and down the wall every time the bath, shower or sink were used. There were 6 of us living in the house - the bathroom got a lot of use. The agents kept telling us we just needed to be more careful and not splash (er, no, this isn't a little splashing, the main down pipe seems to have sprung a leak. I eventually called and told them that I, personally, didn't care f the bathtub fell through the ceiling because they were too cheap to fix it, but that I would sue the pants off them it that happened and I was injured, or any of my property damaged, and that it would really be cheaper for them to fix it before that happened. The came and fixed it 3 days later.
- The house was broken in to. The burglars used a garden spade as a lever to breakthe back door lock off the door. The landlord took over a week to come to secure it (we put bolts on, ourselves, in the mean time) When they did come, rather than replacing the door or the lock, they tried to screw the splintered wood back into place. They ignored us when we explained that the lock needed to be replaced as the burglars had also stolen the keys to the door. (A week later the burglars returned. They couldn't get access because of the bolts which my housemates and I had fixed to the door)
- the landlords had agreed to have an extra power point put into the kitchen, as there was no socket to plug in a washer, and we pointed out that an extension cord running across the kitchen floor was not acceptable. the guy who came to do it had absolutely no clue. Fortunately some of us did, and managed to ensure he didn't get the 'earth' and 'live' wires wrong way round, but we did end up with a wire which went up one wall, zig-zagged across the ceiling and went down another wall, as running the wire along the skirting would have meant using more wire..)
- We're pretty sure that the landlord was pretty cheap in other ways, too, as we often got bailiffs knocking on the door looking for him.
- the landlord didn't live in the city where the house was. they visited occasionally, and once turned up at the door wanting us to let them stay in the house for a few nights so they didn't have t use a hotel. they got quite shirty when we refused to let them into the house.
- When we moved house, they tried to withhold our security deposits on the basis that there was 'junk in the hall'. Yes, there was a small amount of junk mail which was delivered after we moved out, and before they could be bothered to inspect. Fortunately, I have a nasty suspicious mind and had taken date-stamped photos of every room immediately before returning the keys. I still wound up havingto go to the agent's office and sit there advising *every*single*person* person not to rent through them as they would not return deposits to get our money back. (they had failed to return it 3 months after we moved out. They specialised in student lets, and it was just before the start of term, when every student and their parents are looking for rental properties. It took about 20 minutes before they discovered that actually, no, my cheque was't in the post, and yes, there was someone in the office who could sign it, and oh yes, I was correct about the amount and the fact that they didn't have any right to deduct anything. I can't help wondering how much money they made every year from the interest on all those deposits,not to mention keeping them / creaming off the top. ( I made them give me the cheques from my house-mates, which I then posted, too. I'm sure they ought not to have given them to me, but I'm pretty sure none of them would have got their money otherwise...)
I reported them to the University housing office. (it wasn't university housing, but the housing office kept details of private landlord and agencies and if asked, would tell students whether there had been complaints or problems with particular landlords / agencies )