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House issues

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Hannieroo
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House issues

Postby Hannieroo » Fri, 31 May 2013 12:56 pm

Forgive me, this is going to be long.

Okay, we viewed and took on this house in January. THe house was mid renovation when we moved in, workmen, dust sheets and paint fumes everywhere but we liked what we saw and signed. Husband moved in and lived alone here for the month of Feb but wasn't really here very much.

I arrived with the children at the beginning of March and start preparing it to be a family home. I opened a window and it fell out. I had to stand on the third floor holding onto a window that was bigger than I am so as not to drop it onto the neighbours. Luckily my husband was home. We reported it and they were very apologetic, the guy that did their reno was not good, should have done it but he's a church friend and they feel embarrassed. They arranged for all of the windows to be repaired as none of them had the upgraded rivets and a few were broken. I paid for every upstairs window to have replacement handles with keys just in case.

I then started work on the kitchen. Husband (R) had only used the top cupboards, with all of us here we needed the bottom ones too. I open them and they stink. I lifted the lining paper that had been left and they are rotten with damp with a few mouldy dead cockroaches. We reported it, both agents came in. We were told it was unacceptable and that the LL's agent had told them to change the kitchen. They went ack and we are told we are getting a new kitchen. Nice. They want to reuse the appliances so we suggested that we paid for the appliances ourselves. They agreed. The oven stopped working but I figured there was no point getting them to repair it when it was going to be junk.

So we start getting quotes. We hear nothing. In the interim the ac in our bedroom starts playing up, they suggest rather than servicing it constantly we get a new one and pay half. I wasn't sure about that. The LL comes round to collect the furniture we have been storing for him and I go up to our room. The ac is pouring water out, everywhere. He sees that. He calls people out and they say it's kaput and we need a new one. He's not happy. He quibbles, we move out of our bedroom for a month.

We're 7 weeks past the kitchen thing. I call the agent. They don't want to spend the money. They've already bought us new ac and window rivets. Ok, fix it all then. They don't want to fix t because that will be half of a new kitchen so a waste of money. So put a new one in then. But then they decide that they will take the money we offered for appliances and put that towards new cabinets, old appliances. We say no. Then they say ok, but you have to pay half of the entire cost. I say no, R says yes. I say ok but they need to add to the contract that if at the end of our contract they decline to renew to us or put the rent up to over what our company will pay they need to give us back 50% of our contribution. They say no. We explain it's entirely down to their actions, not if we leave because of our own choice or shipping out. They say no. WE say ok, you need to fix it all then and they come back with there is nothing wrong with it and the agent says she saw nothing untoward and we have made them damp. It's my fault that if you turn the oven on the entire house trips. And they have been very good to us so far. I disagree, I own property and I know what my responsibilities are.

Sorry. So long. What can I do here? Live the contract out and suck it up is an option. Pack and leave would be a better one. Any ideas anyone, please?

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Postby AngMoG » Fri, 31 May 2013 1:30 pm

I guess that should remind us all to not take a place that is not in the state you want it to be in. You simply cannot trust landlords here to fix up/clean anything, unless it is clearly stated in the contract. And even then...

I personally think you are well within your right to move out, since they are not fixing major issues within a reasonable time frame and on their own cost. I assume some clause about repairs is in your contract, and you should point that out to them. Give them a short period to fix everything, otherwise move out.

It is clear they have no intention on spending the money to fix all these problems.

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Postby Wd40 » Fri, 31 May 2013 1:30 pm

Feel sorry for you. We have been there, done that. Its just a part and parcel of renting here. Hence, the lesson we learnt is to take the house in "as-is" condition and absolutely not trust the landlord if they say that they are going fix or improve things.

Instead best thing to do is negotiate on the rent, pointing out every issue with the house/furniture and then with the savings fix them yourself.

In your case, you need to evaluate now, whether to cut losses or stay put if in your estimation, "everything that can spoil has already spoilt" and no point leaving now.

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Postby gonzales » Fri, 31 May 2013 1:30 pm

My $0.02.

Fixing the window & replacing the aircon is being used as a lever whereas it's simply the LLs' duty.

If the new kitchen is in contention maybe consider them coughing up for the kitchen & you cough up for the appliances (not built in).
When the lease is up just take your appliance and go.

I probably wouldn't move out over this as you'll probably have an even bigger headache for lease breaking & trying to retrieve your deposit.

Good luck with it, hope it works out.

G.

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Postby Hannieroo » Fri, 31 May 2013 1:41 pm

The tenant is technically the company, they are on the contract. Do we escalate and get legal onto them?

I'm not sure there would be any further talks about a kitchen, they really feel we need to pay half. R would for a quiet life but over my lifeless body. A freestanding cooker might work. They are cutting their noses off, a repair will cost them a few grand and still leave them with the aged kitchen that's here. I think they know it's a waste but see us a top up fund.

I don't want to move, I like the house and the area, it's convenient and quiet. Plus I have no boxes. :D

True about not trusting. I genuinely came in not because I'm a suspicious old bitch who has been burned before when overseas. R was swayed because they gave him an apple pie. I'm very cross with him.

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Postby gonzales » Fri, 31 May 2013 1:45 pm

It might be worth a shot mentioning to the LL that you are handing over the matter to the company legal department on ddmmmyy if there is no resolution.

This may give them some focus.

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Postby Hannieroo » Fri, 31 May 2013 1:48 pm

Yep. I was hoping not to go there but really, we have no choice now. It's obvious from the proviso decline they will want us out anyway.

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Postby Sergei82 » Fri, 31 May 2013 2:08 pm

AngMoG wrote:I guess that should remind us all to not take a place that is not in the state you want it to be in.

+1 and no problems!

Hannieroo
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Postby Hannieroo » Fri, 31 May 2013 2:18 pm

Yes. But to be fair I would have had to strip out their kitchen cupboards, open every window 10 times, take several showers ( I forgot to mention the water heater exploded and came through the ceiling), use the oven more than twice and the ac in the bedroom for a few weeks. The fumes and what have you masked it but I'm not sure the operational stuff would have been noted without use.

They have until the 15th.

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Postby x9200 » Fri, 31 May 2013 2:19 pm

Hannieroo wrote:The tenant is technically the company, they are on the contract. Do we escalate and get legal onto them?

Definitely yes. You are formally not a legal party to your LL. The company should contact their lawyer to provide the lowest risk solution. What I would probably do is below.


I'm not sure there would be any further talks about a kitchen, they really feel we need to pay half. R would for a quiet life but over my lifeless body. A freestanding cooker might work. They are cutting their noses off, a repair will cost them a few grand and still leave them with the aged kitchen that's here. I think they know it's a waste but see us a top up fund.

I don't want to move, I like the house and the area, it's convenient and quiet. Plus I have no boxes. :D

Sue them (I mean your H employer in Small Claims Tribunal if =<20k). Sue them for a court decision to have it all fixed with the condition of time (so they have say 1 month to do this) where in case of failure to deliver you will be in right to engage your own contractors and claim back the money - unless you have it already in the contract (I have see some inclusive) . Don't forget to include compensation (lower rent) for what they already failed to deliver and will fail till its eventually fixed.

Likely 80% of the stuff will get fixed after your LL receives first letter from the lawyer.

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Postby Hannieroo » Fri, 31 May 2013 2:26 pm

Thank you. That is very helpful. Very.

And all of you. I think one of the things about being expat is you lose sight of what's reasonable and start to think having a falling apart house and complaining about it is like demanding the LL gives you gold plated taps. They're treating us like we're being greedy but I don't think a functioning kitchen, a bedroom under 40 degrees and a warm shower is unreasonable. Totally leaving out the window safety issue.

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Postby x9200 » Fri, 31 May 2013 4:07 pm

I noticed I wrote something at best ambiguous: of course your husband employer should sue the LL, not you the employer. Not at this stage at least :) I am not sure if they will be willing to, but maybe the threatening letters will be already sufficient.

I have similar issues with my LL (thankfully not of such magintude) and after I started writing to him registered letters in some more-less legal language style pointing out specific TA clauses he violated and timing his failures to respond, he fixed majority of the stuff pretty quickly.

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Postby Sergei82 » Fri, 31 May 2013 4:28 pm

Hannieroo, it is your company that provides you with the flat saving money on you by giving you the lousiest option available that suits to your (as I see, originally not very elaborated) demands.
You should've asked for housing allowance and rent yourself. I'm renting and HDB maisonnette for 2 years already - not a single problem! I do not see and hear from LL or agents except once a year to extend the contract and renegotiate the price.

Hannieroo
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Postby Hannieroo » Fri, 31 May 2013 4:30 pm

I saw that and realised, thank you. You have helped so much. I called R Mr Nice Guy and told him what I thought, what you guys thought and what I wanted putting in an email copied to me by 3pm. I'm sorry you had to learn all this stuff the hard way though.

I arrived home at 4pm to find our agent and a joiner at my gates. Ha!

And then right when I was writing that the agent (our agent) asked to see the new ac in our bedroom. I took him upstairs and whilst we were there I asked if he thought this could all be done by the 15th because otherwise we would have no choice but to seek legal action. He threw his arms up and said he'd talk to R, stormed downstairs and out the front door. I give up.

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Postby Hannieroo » Fri, 31 May 2013 4:35 pm

We get allowance, we can spend it where we choose. Our needs were/are very simple and things like outdated bathrooms do not worry us. Things need to work, we need to be close to school and work, space for our children and no problems with a big black dog. I don't care if there are orange curtains or the kitchen is ugly. It's not mine, i can change textiles and ignore the rest. We never actually thought we'd have to state an oven that actually works or windows that stay in the frame. Come on, who would?


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