Landlord and Building Management Ignoring Gas Leak

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yogi2bbc
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Landlord and Building Management Ignoring Gas Leak

Post by yogi2bbc » Mon, 11 Jun 2012 4:23 pm

Within a month of moving into a privately own condo, there has been a strong sewer-like odor emanating from the master bedroom bathroom. I informed the landlords office and their real-estate agent of the odor. They sent their contractor to replace the toliet, insisting that it was a choke. I repeatedly explained that since the toliet barely flushes (we were happy they were replacing it) but there is no way there can be a choke considering we didn't use it. I again and again emailed them I believed there was a sublevel source of the odor. After replacing the toliet, the landlords office said they didn't know the cause of the odor and stopped responding to my emails. I then approached the building manager asking to see a building plan. Another month plus went by before they confirmed our bathroom piping is over a sewage manhole. They have done nothing since. All parties are ignoring my emails. I've insisted that this is not only very unpleasant to live in, but sewage fumes are toxic. Still no response. I've asked the landlord's office for the landlords direct contact address since the offices are clearly incompetent, and they have yet to give me the information. Is there a governing agency I can contact to 1) test the air quality of my living environment 2) investigate the fume source and 3) force the landlord or building managment to rectify the problem. Its now been over 7 months! I'm at the end of my rope and ill from the fumes. Please help!

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JR8
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Post by JR8 » Mon, 11 Jun 2012 4:49 pm

Have you considered moving out? It doesn't sound like you're getting the 'quiet enjoyment' to which you're entitled and with the audit trail of communications you describe I'd have thought you might have a pretty solid case.

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Post by Saint » Mon, 11 Jun 2012 5:12 pm

Tell the Building Management that you have no choice but to contact the NEA and get them in to investigate the cause. Believe me, they will sort it out quickly as they won't want the NEA visiting the complex!

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Post by x9200 » Mon, 11 Jun 2012 5:25 pm

In all the places we lived here so far we had this problem with lower or higher intensity so I would say it is "normal" to some extent. BTW, it also may happen exactly for the reason of not using the toilet frequently enough - water dries up in the syphon loop and you end up with an open highway duct to the sewage collector.

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Post by yogi2bbc » Mon, 11 Jun 2012 5:43 pm

Thank you for your responses. I forgot to include that I have contacted and spoken to the NEA and am waiting to hear back. I was unsure if that was the correct agency to contact. Is the Small Claims Tribunal another route to go? We are considering moving, this is ridiculous. When you are paying these very, very high rental rates (though regardless of rental amount, everyone has a right to a comfortable, safe home), you expect not to have to smell sewage day and night and to be disrespected by the landlord and building management. These people straight up lie to my face, its incredable. Our concern with moving is breaking our 2 year lease (as mentioned we are only 7 months in) and losing our deposit, not to mention breaking a contract and the pain of moving. With that said, we can barely sleep in our bedroom and I'm very concerned about the level of methane gas, hydrogen sulfide, ammonia, and I can only imagine what other toxic gases.

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Post by yogi2bbc » Mon, 11 Jun 2012 5:53 pm

x9200, thank you for your response.

Yes, I was aware of the physics of plumbing, so while the toliet was not in complete working order, we would still flush it a few times a day to keep it "lubed." The toliet itself has since been replaced and in working order so we now use it, but the awful odor is still coming from the toliet (when flushed or used, a strong surge of gas is released) and possibly the sink and shower, but more difficult to identify.

You are saying you always have delt with some level of sewer fumes? How is that acceptable? Have all your residences been newer, older, varying floor levels?

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Post by x9200 » Mon, 11 Jun 2012 7:20 pm

In our first place (7th floor) we had it in the maids toilet probably because of the mentioned issue (we did not have a maid). 2nd place, 5th floor, brand new condo, we could have smelled it occasionally in the master bathroom but it was not very intensive. Now, 16th floor, we even cannot locate the source: mostly after rain and the smell could be overwhelming but it probably comes from outside as it is present also on the terraces.
I see it a bit as a part of the local environment, like the cockroaches, less or more but they are everywhere. Smelly things are more smelly in such hot climate.

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Post by yogi2bbc » Mon, 11 Jun 2012 10:04 pm

You are correct, things just tend to fester in this heat. It's interesting you have had this issue on varying floor levels. Our bedroom and master bath are located on the 2nd floor (the lowest level in the building), but our other non-smelly bathroom is located on the 3rd level. I thought being closer to the possible source could be the problem. After this and our ongoing ant problem, I've been swearing off ever living on a low floor again. I always thought living on a high floor was just hype :).

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