Apartment Not Being Maintained - Please Advise - boards.ie
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24-05-2012, 18:02   #1
shaunoc1
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Apartment Not Being Maintained - Please Advise

I'm living in a property managed by a small-time local management company (two guys) and all of my dealings have gone through them (I've never actually met or spoken to the actual landlord).
If anything, and I mean anything, needs to be fixed or done with the place, it's next to impossible to get it done.

For example, last year, one of the blinds broke apart, and it took 3 months of phonecalls, missed appointments and excuses before I gave up and got it done myself, gave the guy a receipt and got cash off him. This year, the shower door broke (completely, it was falling into the shower unit) and it took two months to get it fixed (again, loads of excuses, parts being 'ordered' and 'disappearing in the mail' etc).

At the moment we badly need to get the front yard weeded. The two lads 'did' that last year, which resulted in about half the yard not being weeded, and the waste being left on the footpath to rot (it's still there). I've been hassling him to get it done properly for the last few months (all regrown, like a jungle now); he told me two weeks ago that RoundUp had been put on it and that I needed to wait for it to take effect. The weeds are still as healthy as ever and I can only conclude that the guy is now flat-out lying to me.

If I get someone in to just do it properly (I've had it costed), can this guy just say that it was being done (albeit very slowly, 'the rain's not helping' etc etc) and that I'm liable for the cost? This is how it goes ad infinitum with all the maintenance; months of phonecalls and excuses, nothing being completed.

After being advised by Threshold a few months back, I sent a registered letter to the landlord's address explaining that we were getting various bits of work completed that had been promised but never done by these two lads. About a month later, the letter came back to us, there having been nobody to receive it at the Landlord's address from the tenancy agreement.

I'm really at the end of my tether; Giving out to them seems to have no effect, it's a constant stream of 'yeah yeah, sure it's being done'. Am I within my rights to just get the work done myself and take it out of the rent?

Please, any help / advice would be very, very welcome!!

Last edited by shaunoc1; 24-05-2012 at 18:54.
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24-05-2012, 20:47   #2
athtrasna
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Is it an apartment in a block or a house? If it's a house then you would be expected to maintain the yard yourself.

How do you pay your rent? There should be a way to contact your landlord through the bank if you pay it directly to their account.
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24-05-2012, 22:58   #3
odds_on
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What to do if there is a problem your accommodation
The Residential Tenancies Act 2004 states in Part 2, Section 16:
(d) notify the landlord or his or her authorised agent of any defect that arises in the dwelling that requires to be repaired so as to enable the landlord comply with his or her obligations, in relation to the dwelling or the tenancy, under any enactment,

This is very important. Very few tenants actually do this correctly, as a result, repairs or problem issues are not remedied and the tenant is constantly phoning or texting the landlord. This goes on for weeks and weeks if not months. Never ever rely on verbal agreements for repairs etc. either before signing a lease or once you have taken up occupancy.
If the tenant has an issue with anything in the property (appliance failure, pest infestation, problems with windows, floors, leaks, heating, etc) that the landlord should maintain under his obligations, then the following steps should be taken:
1. Advise the landlord immediately either by phone or text.
2. Follow up immediately by writing to the landlord (keep a copy), date it and state the failure and give the landlord a reasonable time to remedy the failure. A reasonable time would normally be 7 – 14 days but may be less in serious cases. If the tenant does not give the landlord a time limit for the rectification of the failure, the problem will to drag on and on and on …….
3. Under normal circumstances, if the landlord does not rectify the failure within the time limit then he is in breach of his obligations. However, if he has to wait for new parts, then he would not be considered in breach as this is out of his control.

If you have done the above, and the landlord has not remedied the problem then you should be free to leave after a written Notice of Termination (usually 28 days notice but could be 7 days in cases where serious injury or damage to tenant or property are possible) and be entitled to the return of your deposit. Again, keep a copy. There is an Example of Notice of Termination of Tenancy (with notes on its completion) on the PRTB web site which can be used by either tenant or landlord.
You could also make a claim to the PRTB for "damages" - inconvenience, stress, loss of quiet enjoyment of the property etc depending on the type of failure. Financial rewards to the tenant are often made in these cases.
By keeping a copy of the letter requesting repairs (make sure it is dated and specifies by when the repairs/replacement should be done) advising the landlord about the failure, you have evidence to back yourself up should there be a claim with the PRTB as regards the landlord’s breach of his obligations.
Under the RTA 2004 Section 12 (g), if you feel inclined and would like to remain in the property, you could have the repairs/failures remedied yourself, having:
a) received several quotes for the work and
b) informed the landlord (in writing, keep a copy) that as he has not remedied the issue you will have the work effected using the lowest quote (provide a copy) and withhold rent to cover the cost of same.
RTA 2004 Section 12
(g) without prejudice to any other liability attaching in this case, reimburse the tenant in respect of all reasonable and vouched for expenses that may be incurred by the tenant in carrying out repairs to the structure or interior of the dwelling for which the landlord is responsible under paragraph (b) where the following conditions are satisfied—
i) the landlord has refused or failed to carry out the repairs at the time the tenant requests him or her to do so, and
(ii) the postponement of the repairs to some subsequent date would have been unreasonable having regard to either—
(I) a significant risk the matters calling for repair posed to the health or safety of the tenant or other lawful occupants of the dwelling, or
(II) a significant reduction that those matters caused in the quality of the tenant’s or other such occupants’ living environment,
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24-05-2012, 23:50   #4
StillWaters
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I would have thought the garden/yard was your responsibility too unless it says otherwise in the lease. As for weeds being left on the footpath from last year to rot. Why didnt you just shove them in the bin?

I understand this is different if you have a communal open space.
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25-05-2012, 08:19   #5
uberwolf
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Originally Posted by StillWaters View Post

I understand this is different if you have a communal open space.
but for all that I still pick up rubbish and tidy in my common areas, and I would expect any other normal person to do so as well.

I cannot understand the mentality of people dumping rubbish, etc in what amounts to their front garden.
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25-05-2012, 08:30   #6
Caseywhale
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I would have thought the garden/yard was your responsibility too unless it says otherwise in the lease. As for weeds being left on the footpath from last year to rot. Why didnt you just shove them in the bin?

I understand this is different if you have a communal open space.
There are a lot of helpless people out there who will even ring a landlord to change a light bulb, flip a trip switch, change a shower hose etc
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25-05-2012, 17:20   #7
shaunoc1
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It's a two-apartment building in a renovated house, rent is paid via a standing order.

Is it definitely tenant's responsibility to maintain the yard? The next-door neighbours are in a similar house, and their landlord keeps the yard in perfect condition. They then use that as a communal area, something that's not possible in our yard with the state of it. In fact, the neighbours have been specifically telling me that it's completely the landlord's responsibility.

I have no issue whatsoever with getting work done or doing it myself, but when I contact the management 'company' to inform them that I'm doing it (which I presume I have to do if it's going to cost money), they immediately tell me not to do anything, that they'll take care of it -- which invariably results in months of follow-up calls, missed appointments, jobs being half-done etc...
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25-05-2012, 22:37   #8
Badhb
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Originally Posted by shaunoc1 View Post
I sent a registered letter to the landlord's address explaining that we were getting various bits of work completed that had been promised but never done by these two lads. About a month later, the letter came back to us, there having been nobody to receive it at the Landlord's address from the tenancy agreement.

Please, any help / advice would be very, very welcome!!
Your landlord has to provide address/contact details.
Write a letter to PRTB. As a party to a tenancy agreement, you are entitled to the landlords contact details to serve these notices.
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27-05-2012, 06:00   #9
fasttalkerchat
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Call up the relevant company or tradesman and tell them you want whatever job done and that its a rented house. When they do the work pass on the invoice to the landlord.

Just make sure you can prove that you gave a months notice and that the job needed doing. For something like a burst pipe or a broken window a few days notice should be enough.
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27-05-2012, 11:03   #10
Caseywhale
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Originally Posted by fasttalkerchat View Post
Call up the relevant company or tradesman and tell them you want whatever job done and that its a rented house. When they do the work pass on the invoice to the landlord.

Just make sure you can prove that you gave a months notice and that the job needed doing. For something like a burst pipe or a broken window a few days notice should be enough.
You cant do that. No company is going to do a job on the strength of someone saying "Send the bill to someone else". They wouldnt be in business long if they did. The landlord would be perfectly within his rights to say to them to get lost, he didnt hire them so he isnt paying them. Where do you think they are going to go loking for the money then?

Best the OP could do is pay them themselves and then ask the landlord for a refund. But what if he says he was only going to pay half the price to get it done with other guys he was going to get to do the job, so he's only giving the OP half the money.

Im off now to keep my front garden in tip top condition in the nice weather. A little effort of 15 mins to a half an hour every week keeps it looking lovely.

Last edited by Caseywhale; 27-05-2012 at 11:07.
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27-05-2012, 13:27   #11
fasttalkerchat
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Originally Posted by Caseywhale View Post
You cant do that. No company is going to do a job on the strength of someone saying "Send the bill to someone else". They wouldnt be in business long if they did. The landlord would be perfectly within his rights to say to them to get lost, he didnt hire them so he isnt paying them. Where do you think they are going to go loking for the money then?

Best the OP could do is pay them themselves and then ask the landlord for a refund. But what if he says he was only going to pay half the price to get it done with other guys he was going to get to do the job, so he's only giving the OP half the money.

Im off now to keep my front garden in tip top condition in the nice weather. A little effort of 15 mins to a half an hour every week keeps it looking lovely.
If the landlord refuses to pay it your way you have lost your own money. If there is a dispute my way it comes from the deposit until I can prove that he should have paid.
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27-05-2012, 18:42   #12
Caseywhale
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If the landlord refuses to pay it your way you have lost your own money. If there is a dispute my way it comes from the deposit until I can prove that he should have paid.
Your way is against the law. And also any smart tradesman would never do it your way. They wouldnt be in business for very long.
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27-05-2012, 19:05   #13
Aggiem
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All requests for repairs/maintenance should be made in writing and keep a copy for your records. If, after a reasonable length of time, the repair is not carried out you should get it done and stop the amount from your rent. You should then notify the landlord in writing of what you have done. My guess is that that will smoke him out. Have you asked the two maintenence guys for contact details for the landlord, seeing as how your letter was returned undelivered? Did you ever meet the landlord, as I'm thinking that the two guys may have a vested interest in the property, otherwise they would hardly be making excuses for the landlord, and putting off doing the repairs?!
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27-05-2012, 19:59   #14
fasttalkerchat
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Your way is against the law. And also any smart tradesman would never do it your way. They wouldnt be in business for very long.
How is it against the law? These sort of things is what he is paid for. I don't pay someone £400 per month for a roof over my head; I could get this in a hostel!

When you pay for a service and part of that agreement is not being carried out you have a contract which obligates him to pay for what he has signed up to.

On saying that, you should give plenty of notice to get it sorted his way.
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27-05-2012, 20:08   #15
iguana
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StillWaters View Post
I would have thought the garden/yard was your responsibility too unless it says otherwise in the lease. As for weeds being left on the footpath from last year to rot. Why didnt you just shove them in the bin?

I understand this is different if you have a communal open space.
Nope it's the other way around. It's the owner's responsibility to maintain the outside of the property and the garden unless otherwise specified in the lease.
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