Kirsty (aphrael) wrote in bad_service,

Is it bad service if your real estate agent + landlord stuff you around?

I moved into my rental property in March. My dad actually pays the rent for it, it was a deal we cut where he will pay the rent while I finish Uni, then I can either take over the rent or move. I know this is an awesome deal for me, although I mainly think he did it because my stepmother used to dislike me intensely (we're getting on better now) so he figured things would easier this way than me living at home.

Anyway. The lease is in my father's name, but I've met the property manager from day one and she understands that I'm living here, and not my Dad. Despite this, all the mail I get regarding inspections and the like is always addressed to my Dad. This is in no way a huge problem, but the letters inside are addressed to me and my father, so I don't see why they can't address the envelopes that way, too. The place is rented through LJ Hooker's, btw.

So, I've lived here since March. My fiance has lived with me since April. The unit is not in fantastic condition, but hey, I'm not about to complain about a bit of paint off the walls and some cracks here or there. For a bit of back info, the owners of the house, ie my landlord and his wife, live about a 2 hour drive from the property. They have said themselves they hate driving out here because it's so far. So far, we haven't needed them for much at all - there was a tile missing off the roof that they repaired, and we asked them for a safety switch to be installed.

However, a couple of months ago we discovered some things we believe should be fixed. Our front light socket is hanging, literally, from the porch roof. So much so that the fly screen door JUST skims underneath it when we open it. Also, the back light socket doesn't even work, there is a bit missing inside it. We only discovered that one recently because we wanted to put the light on for hanging washing on the line now it's warmer. We also discovered we don't have a TV aerial in the roof, despite there being a socket in the wall to plug the aerial into. The cable goes into the roof, but then it's been cut off. This means we can't get one channel at all, and since we didn't watch TV before, we didn't notice, but now there's some cool shows on that channel and we can't watch it at all, not even with bunny ears. Also, the cold tap handle snapped in half in the bathroom, so we can't use the cold water. We reported these 2 months ago at our last inspection. Since then, the landlord has turned up on my doorstep with NO notice once when I was about to go out, saying he wanted to fix the tap. He has phoned once also, wanting to come the next day, when I had a job interview. During that phone call I discovered he actually had no idea that it was the handle that was broken, not the actual tap, and although I tried to explain it, I doubt he understood (he is Polish, or Russian, or something, and has a thick accent and doesn't seem to understand a whole lot of English).

That was about 2 weeks before Christmas. Since then, nothing. No phone calls from the agency, none from the landlord. We haven't said anything else, because none of it is too urgent, but it is starting to get annoying.

However, now is the big problem - the other night, the pilot light on our outdoor gas water system went out. No problems, we relit it. However, this morning when my fiance went to have a shower, there was no hot water. He went outside and saw the pilot light was out again - strange, since there was no wind or anything to blow it out, it had been a still night. So, he goes to light it, and discovers the ignition button is jammed in, and will only click about 1 every 100 presses. He tried to unjam it for about 20 minutes, to no avail. So, he pressed the off button and had a cold shower. After he got dressed, he went to try again and discovered that now the off button was jammed in. So we have no hot water, because we can't light the pilot light.

So, with a sinking feeling, I called LJ Hooker. I got a girl called Hayley. I had to explain to her about 4 times what had happened, mentioning the pilot light every time. She put me on hold for a minute and then came back and asked if it was gas or electric -headdesk-. She said she'd put a maintenance report in and Selena would call someone and they would call me. I asked how long she thought it would be, because hot water is kind of important. She said she'd let Selena know straight away. It's been about 5 hours and nothing.

Sorry for the long ramble, but I'm annoyed at this. Hot water is important. I can't wash dishes properly, I can't do a load of washing (unless I do it cold, I guess), and we can't have hot showers. There is a 24 hour number on the side of the hot water unit for assistance, but I hate to think what they'd charge. So does anyone know if the landlord will even do anything about this, or if we get someone out ourselves whether he will foot the bill? Are we being unreasonable to think he should do something about it? My Dad is overseas at the moment and will be until the middle of January. I'm just tired of having stuff be sub-par and no one even mentioning it after I've reported it.

EDIT: I just called LJ Hooker's again and asked if there had been an update on the situation. The woman I got, Kelly, tried to tell me that they wouldn't be able to fix it for a while because the plumber just got back from holidays. I was like WTF? It has nothing to do with plumbing! So THEN she brings up my file and says that Selena will call the owner, who will call whoever needs to be called, who will call me. Somehow, I don't think it will be getting fixed soon. Argh.
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