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Cash rent- landlord not fixing shower as a priority

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  • 15-10-2020 12:58pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 521 ✭✭✭


    Hey all, looking for some advice on potential leverage here.

    Moved in to this place 6 weeks ago as the place I was renting burned down (electrical fire).

    The whole thing was extremely stressful, so I was grateful to find my current place at short notice and nearby where I was living already.

    It has always been my intention to be here short term, as the other half and I are looking to move in together (we just didn't feel it was right to rush in to it after the fire). We gave ourselves a maximum of 6 months.

    I've had nothing but trouble since moving in here. First, I had to ask for the mattress to get replaced as the dip in it made it completely unsuitable to sleep on. It took the landlord 2 weeks to get replaced, I slept on the couch after week 1, but in fairness he did do it and the new mattress is spot on. I'm struggling with residual back pain though, and am forking out 50 quid a week to see a physio to regain mobility. Beside the point, but context as to my annoyance.

    Last week (Friday)) the electric shower broke. I did some googling, checked some things and came to the conclusion the solenoid pump isn't doing it's job. Im no expert though so I didnt go near it after that, and called the landlord to let him know what happened. He came with an electrician 6 hours later who came to the same conclusion. Ll promised to called it in as its still under warranty and I would get a call to arrange a technician to come and fix it.

    Monday morning 8am, I was barely out of bed, ll shows up again, this time with a plumber. Plumber does, once again, conclude the solenoid pump needs replacing. He says it's a two second job and I will get a call later today to arrange a time to do it. Sounds perfect.

    Monday goes by, Tuesday goes by. Nothing. I text the ll first (to have proof) to say I've heard nothing. He rings to say its been "called in" and they'll be over in the morning. Wednesday goes by, still nothing so I text the landlord again saying I have nowhere else to shower, no bath so its now urgent and needs to be fixed before the weekend.

    So this morning I get a call from some place in Dublin that looks after warranties and the lady confirms to me that the fault was called in only this morning. The shower broke last Friday. She can't promise they'll get someone out before the weekend. Grand it's not her fault.

    I rang the ll to say I was shocked to find out he lied. He said he trusted the plumber to call it in. I said that he, as the ll, is responsible here. If he can't do the thing, then don't be a landlord. Apologies and all other bs. I am now "a difficult tenant" because I want to wash myself.

    So. I want to be compensated for the lack of shower. Today is day 7 and its looking like it'll be at least another 3 days before its fixed. I find that completely unacceptable, knowing the gyms showers are closed and I can't visit anyone as of midnight tonight.

    The tenancy is not registered. There is no contract and I pay rent in cash. I have a receipt for my deposit and first month's rent but thats it.

    What risk do I take by deducting 10 euro per day without a shower from the rent? What leg does he have to stand on if I decide to put 50 instead of 800 in tl the envelope come rent day?


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Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,739 ✭✭✭Xterminator


    you haven't got a leg to stand on, withholding the rent. 2 wrongs dont make a right.

    You are right in saying a shower is essential. But when you say the landlord has done nothing, that's not true. He had an electrician out same day, according to you. then got a plumber to have a look. then there was a mix up that caused a delay because its a warranty job and it wasn't called in as swiftly as it could have been.

    while there are grounds for annoyance here, its not like he just ignored the issue. He has been making an effort. You are suggesting breaking the contract by withholding rent, - which should be a last resort not a 1st.

    you then seem to try to conflate the issue with your tenancy not being registered & your cash payments, which does not seem to have bothered you much before this issue.

    My advice pay you rent and mov e out if your not happy with the whole situation. finally report him to revenue if you feel he is dodging tax. But again - that is not any part of your current situation.

    My own circumstance- i am not nor have ever been a landlord. just in case anyone wonders .....


  • Registered Users Posts: 521 ✭✭✭boomshakalaka


    you haven't got a leg to stand on, withholding the rent. 2 wrongs dont make a right.

    You are right in saying a shower is essential. But when you say the landlord has done nothing, that's not true. He had an electrician out same day, according to you. then got a plumber to have a look. then there was a mix up that caused a delay because its a warranty job and it wasn't called in as swiftly as it could have been.

    while there are grounds for annoyance here, its not like he just ignored the issue. He has been making an effort. You are suggesting breaking the contract by withholding rent, - which should be a last resort not a 1st.

    you then seem to try to conflate the issue with your tenancy not being registered & your cash payments, which does not seem to have bothered you much before this issue.

    My advice pay you rent and mov e out if your not happy with the whole situation. finally report him to revenue if you feel he is dodging tax. But again - that is not any part of your current situation.

    My own circumstance- i am not nor have ever been a landlord. just in case anyone wonders .....

    Thanks for weighing in.

    The no contract didn't bother me because I genuinely had nowhere to live. If I had a choice at the time I would have looked for something above board. The fact of the matter is that there is no contract to break. Neither of us have a leg to stand on. When a ll is renting out a place for cash, you'd imagine they'd want to keep on good terms with their tenants.

    Im definitely looking to leave, faster than we had originally planned for, but this also isn't an immediate solution.

    Would you feel its warranted to ask for a rent reduction based on the lack of follow through from the ll? It may or may not be his fault but it is his responsibility.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,254 ✭✭✭Oops!


    Would it serve you well to be on good terms with the landlord also? Speaking from the angle of someone who's been a tenant and never a landlord...


  • Registered Users Posts: 588 ✭✭✭shane b


    While not an ideal situation I think your being a bit unfair on the landlord. Yes there was a breakdown in communication between the landlord and the plumber which extended the fix by a few days which is unfortunate.
    Can you not wash yourself by other means in the meantime? It's only been a week.
    My mother is a landlady and I have rented myself over the years too so have seen both sides.
    As an example Last month the oven in my mother rented house stopped working. We got someone out to look at it, found it was not worth repairing and she ordered a new oven. Fast forward a week and she gets an irate call from the tenants where is the oven. Turns out delivery from the shop warehouse is 7-10 days so nothing we could do. Dont blame them querying where it was but they weren't very nice about it.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,045 ✭✭✭Bio Mech


    I dont think calling someone and telling them that they are a liar is ever going to help a situation. I had to wait 14 days for a warranty repair on a boiler once. IF you get on peoples cases they just stop being cooperative.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 521 ✭✭✭boomshakalaka


    Just to clarify - I uncovered the lie because the warranty company confirmed it wasn't called in until today while the ll said it would be called in on Monday and then confirmed it had been called in when I spoke to him on Tuesday evening.

    I have not been rude, abrupt, raised my voice, or called my ll a liar (to his face) and know that keeping relations civil if not positive is going to be best for everyone involved.

    That said, I don't think me being passed off about this is unwarranted.

    And yes, I guess I can wash myself at the kitchen sink. And I will be calling to my partner before restrictions come on this evening to at least get a shower in before that happens.


  • Registered Users Posts: 626 ✭✭✭Meeoow


    How do you know the tendency isn't registered? You were given receipts, so there is a paper trail.
    Also, you are only moved in, and already got a new mattress, and now the electric shower has broken. Maybe the ll suspects you broke it. It is obviously a new enough shower if under warranty.
    Your last place burnt down too, you seem very unlucky.


  • Registered Users Posts: 521 ✭✭✭boomshakalaka


    Meeoow wrote: »
    How do you know the tendency isn't registered? You were given receipts, so there is a paper trail.
    Also, you are only moved in, and already got a new mattress, and now the electric shower has broken. Maybe the ll suspects you broke it. It is obviously a new enough shower if under warranty.
    Your last place burnt down too, you seem very unlucky.

    Ah yes - unlucky indeed.

    I know its not registered because if it is you get a letter from the rtb within a few weeks. Also every effort has been made to make the gaff look like a garage from the road.

    It does seem I'm unlucky, alright. If it interests you the last place burned down because of an electrical fire in my neighbours attic - had absolutely nothing to do with me and the lls insurance agrees there was no one at fault. **** happens.

    In terms of the mattress, you wouldn't have your dog sleep on it, it was that bad. I tried to correct it myself with boards, mattress toppers and so on before asking for a replacement because I never intended on staying here long term, which the ll knows.

    In terms of the shower, it's in it lasts month of warranty (3 years) and Google tells me this is a common fault with these showers. Its a cheap unit. So either the shower is low quality or the wiring has an issue. Either way, not something I am able to break by using it incorrectly / overuse / etc. I dont care about it being a cheap unit, in fact I'm known to be frugal myself, I just want to be able to shower.


  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 17,642 Mod ✭✭✭✭Graham


    Mod Note

    Any suggestion of withholding rent or encouragement of same will not end well.


  • Registered Users Posts: 521 ✭✭✭boomshakalaka


    Graham wrote: »
    Mod Note

    Any suggestion of with holding rent or encouragement of same will not end well.

    How about asking for reduction?


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  • Registered Users Posts: 3,074 ✭✭✭Shelflife


    Is there a bath ?


  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 17,642 Mod ✭✭✭✭Graham


    How about asking for reduction?

    go for it.


  • Registered Users Posts: 521 ✭✭✭boomshakalaka


    Shelflife wrote: »
    Is there a bath ?

    No bath, just shower, sink and toilet.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,997 ✭✭✭3DataModem


    I have not .... called my ll a liar (to his face).
    I rang the ll to say I was shocked to find out he lied.

    ?

    Aside from this, you can ask him for a reduction, but it would be a foolish landlord to give it to you.

    I think the landlord acted fast enough, TBH, but mistakes happen.


  • Registered Users Posts: 521 ✭✭✭boomshakalaka


    3DataModem wrote: »
    ?

    Aside from this, you can ask him for a reduction, but it would be a foolish landlord to give it to you.

    I think the landlord acted fast enough, TBH, but mistakes happen.

    I called to say "I found out it hadn't been called in until this morning, while you confirmed on Tuesday it had been done"

    Big difference between calling someone a liar and calling them out on the lie.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,275 ✭✭✭august12


    Shelflife wrote: »
    Is there a bath ?
    No as per the OPs earlier post, why can't people read the whole thread??


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,275 ✭✭✭august12


    How about asking for reduction?
    No harm in asking, if you don't ask, you won't know, and it maybe in his best interest to give you some reduction.


  • Registered Users Posts: 14,525 ✭✭✭✭Dav010


    Just in relation to the contract and RTB, there is no requirement to have a written contract, and as most written ones tend to be for 12 months, it may actually be a disadvantage to you to have a fixed term contract if you intend to leave quite soon to move in with your partner. Tenancy registrations do not always show on their site as soon as you might expect, so don’t assume after a couple of weeks that it isn’t registered. If you are paying in cash, you certainly need a rent book to record the cash payments.

    A shower breaking is unfortunate, but it happens, and as others have posted, he did get an electrician/plumber there promptly, so I don’t think he can be accused of ignoring the issue. There does seem to have been a mix up in reporting it to the manufacturer, but this also happens.

    If you are not happy, as there isn’t a term contract, give the required 28 days notice and move on. On a side note, you said it looks like a garage, by any chance is this attached to the owners house?


  • Registered Users Posts: 521 ✭✭✭boomshakalaka


    Dav010 wrote: »
    Just in relation to the contract and RTB, there is no requirement to have a written contract, and as most written ones tend to be for 12 months, it may actually be a disadvantage to you to have a fixed term contract if you intend to leave quite soon to move in with your partner. Tenancy registrations do not always show on their site as soon as you might expect, so don’t assume after a couple of weeks that it isn’t registered. If you are paying in cash, you certainly need a rent book to record the cash payments.

    A shower breaking is unfortunate, but it happens, and as others have posted, he did get an electrician/plumber there promptly, so I don’t think he can be accused of ignoring the issue. There does seem to have been a mix up in reporting it to the manufacturer, but this also happens.

    If you are not happy, as there isn’t a term contract, give the required 28 days notice and move on. On a side note, you said it looks like a garage, by any chance is this attached to the owners house?

    Thanks for the insightful reply - wasn't aware a written contract was not required.

    I guess there's not much left to say other than "bad luck" with no one at fault. Will try to move on and move out as soon as is possible and try not to go insane in the meantime.

    To answer your question, no the "garage" isn't attached to the house. Its a free standing building with a big garage door showing towards the road. You wouldn't know someone lived here unless you walked 50 m on to the driveway. The main house is also let out (no idea if they pay cash or what the deal is there, don't really care either) and the landlord lives a couple of miles over the road. I share a letterbox with the folks in the big house, we use the same address.
    Why do you ask?


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,954 ✭✭✭mikemac2


    Same day response and a follow up visit first thing Monday morning seem quite good. Surprisingly good actually

    Unfortunate about the breakdown in communication but your landlord seems ok in my book.

    Pay the rent in full. You can ask for money for a weeks gym pass if you want, no harm to ask. Every gym has different pricing but for an example say maybe 50 euro or so, its not an outrageous request from a tenant


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  • Registered Users Posts: 6,003 ✭✭✭handlemaster


    OP what else should the LL do? . He is waiting for the repair to be done on the warranty which means its a new pump.


  • Registered Users Posts: 521 ✭✭✭boomshakalaka


    OP what else should the LL do? . He is waiting for the repair to be done on the warranty which means its a new pump.

    I guess I was looking for him to make sure all was arranged rather than having me annoy him about it on several occasions, making me a "difficult tenant". And when it came to light he dropped the ball, to meet me half way in terms of the issues it caused for me (i.e. acknowledge and compensate 6 days without a shower). Basically to not be a chancer.

    But good news on two fronts. Got the call from technician and they're set to come first thing tomorrow. Secondly, the landlord gave me a call as well to say he was sorry that he indeed put it on the long finger. He's taking a small amount off the rent (I didn't even get to asking), which I accept so we can move on with our lives without getting in each others way.

    I just want to live in peace and not be smelly, really.

    Thanks everyone for your input. Fingers crossed all goes to plan tomorrow


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,242 ✭✭✭brisan


    IF you are paying rent in cash I would stop that straight away
    Go direct Debit
    Only asking for trouble otherwise


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,242 ✭✭✭brisan


    Thanks for the insightful reply - wasn't aware a written contract was not required.

    I guess there's not much left to say other than "bad luck" with no one at fault. Will try to move on and move out as soon as is possible and try not to go insane in the meantime.

    To answer your question, no the "garage" isn't attached to the house. Its a free standing building with a big garage door showing towards the road. You wouldn't know someone lived here unless you walked 50 m on to the driveway. The main house is also let out (no idea if they pay cash or what the deal is there, don't really care either) and the landlord lives a couple of miles over the road. I share a letterbox with the folks in the big house, we use the same address.
    Why do you ask?

    The garage may not have PP to be converted to living accommodation, so therefore it cannot be registered unless you are down as living in the big house


  • Registered Users Posts: 14,525 ✭✭✭✭Dav010


    brisan wrote: »
    IF you are paying rent in cash I would stop that straight away
    Go direct Debit
    Only asking for trouble otherwise

    Is cash not legal currency? Op has confirmed a receipt was given by the LL.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,242 ✭✭✭brisan


    Dav010 wrote: »
    Is cash not legal currency?

    The last time I checked it was
    I only got some out of the bank this morning and have received no notification that the rules have changed


  • Registered Users Posts: 14,525 ✭✭✭✭Dav010


    brisan wrote: »
    The last time I checked it was
    I only got some out of the bank this morning and have received no notification that the rules have changed

    How is op asking for trouble when paying the rent as requested by the LL?


  • Registered Users Posts: 104 ✭✭CoffeeBean2


    I think the best course of action is to tell the LL that you are not happy and that if the issue is not fixed asap that you will be fixing it yourself and reducing the cost out of the rent.

    This will clearly indicate that you mean business and that you will not be pushed around. The LL will also understand who he/she is dealing with and can take action within the first six months of you moving in if they are concerned.

    Everyone wins.

    (I'm not an LL)


  • Registered Users Posts: 14,525 ✭✭✭✭Dav010


    I think the best course of action is to tell the LL that you are not happy and that if the issue is not fixed asap that you will be fixing it yourself and reducing the cost out of the rent.

    This will clearly indicate that you mean business and that you will not be pushed around. The LL will also understand who he/she is dealing with and can take action within the first six months of you moving in if they are concerned.

    Everyone wins.

    (I'm not an LL)

    And the op will then be in arrears, and a couple of hundreds Euro out of pocket to boot.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,118 ✭✭✭Melanchthon


    OP what else should the LL do? . He is waiting for the repair to be done on the warranty which means its a new pump.

    Why didn't they ring about the warranty when they said they were going to. Landlords always get defended strongly on this board but picking up the phone to make a call isn't hard and you'd be damn sure they would do it when they said if it was their own shower broken.


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