Repair Issues

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New Member
Hello! I'm new here, and am so grateful to find a place that might be able to answer my questions and tell me I'm not being completely unreasonable here. LOL

I moved into my condo in the month of September. Just prior to move in, the leasing company did a walk through with my mother (I was living out of town at that point and couldn't fly in due to 9/11 flights cancelled). The condition of the condo was filmed by the leasing rep, and my mother filled out their "repairs needed/what's wrong with the place" sheet to the maximum. The place had many, many tiny things wrong with it, but nothing outstanding (i.e. nails and nail holes in walls, walls dirty, curtain rods shaky or hanging). For the most part, this place is elegant, quiet and roomy.

I was asked to always fax in my maintenance requests, which is no problem. Getting a response is the problem. First, I was told that all the curtains that the owner had left behind were to be kept here, on premises. Nevermind that I had my own curtains. His are taking up space in the storage closet. I was told that if I move them or get rid of them, I will be charged for them. Secondly, I'd asked, repeatedly before move in, that the flood lights at the top of the front steps be replaced, for they were burned out. I was told it would be taken care of. There they still sit, dark as night.

I was finally told to call the company that handles maintenance for the entire community, because the lights were not the leasing agency's jurisdiction. Keep in mind that this wasn't relayed to me until NOVEMBER. Now the condo repairman is the one ignoring my request.

The only way I was able to get the leasing agency to come do any other repairs was by calling every week until someone finally came out. Now I've got a light out in the bathroom. I understand it's not their job to change a light bulb, but the fixture is built into some sort of vent in there. Imagine a plate with three holes. Pressing the plate to the ceiling, the two outer holes would show the vents, while the center hole shows the squarish light fixture. I am concerned about damaging the property or myself. The refuse to come out to repair it, and told me they would charge me if I damaged that vent/fixture.

My second problem is that one of the bedroom doors will not latch shut. I don't mean on a lock. I mean, very simply, that the doorknob and it's mate built into the doorway are not eye to eye, so to speak. The door blows open with the slightest pressure. I asked them to fix that, and they're telling me that since the building shifts, it's useless to fix that, because it would just set the door offbase again. That's not acceptable to me.

I apologize for making this post so long. I'm just so frustrated. These are just the problems I'm having with these people right now. SO many have come and gone! I don't want to make trouble, but for the amount of rent I'm paying, and the beautiful neighborhood I'm in, I expect decent conditions. I am living with unfilled holes in the wall, stained carpet and groaning pipes as it is. Am I asking too much now, regarding the light/vent fixture and the door?

Thank you for your patience and time.

Victoria the Mentally Exhausted!
First, everything that governs the terms and conditions of the condo you are leasing is contained within the lease. You must read this and it is the most important piece of paper. Anything said here is secondary to what is contained within the lease.

That said, if it is the responsibility of the landlord, whomever that may be, to make repairs, if they refuse, you can make repairs and abate the amount of the repairs from the rent. However, you should send a letter certified return receipt (it seems fax might suffice but I would send it twice) to the landlord/agent responsible and then hire your own people if they do not respond within a reasonable period of time. You can also abate the rent if there is a diminishing of the services provided to your apartment. You should include the statements that you will be forced to make repairs yourself and will deduct such amounts from the rental amounts owed.

These are some typical remedies that tenants have with regard to non-repairs. Remember, your lease is the governing document and the most important piece of paper to review.

I just wanted to let you know that I got a phone call this morning from the leasing agency's maintenance man. He wanted to know if I was available this morning to let him to repair the door and show me how to change the light bult in the vent fixture.

Needless to say, I'm thrilled. I don't know what brought about the sudden change of heart, but I told him I'd be right here waiting. They just left, and I feel immensely better about this company.

I want to thank you for your advice. I'm quite certain I'll be referencing back to it in the future, and cannot thank you enough for a prompt reply.

Victoria :D
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