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Nice Or Taken Advantaged?


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#1 pentridgevillage

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Posted 14 September 2011 - 12:52 AM

Hi there.

I moved to Melbourne on2nd Aug 2011. Got my keys to my rented property on 10th Aug only to realize inthe night my heater and my hot water was not working. Thought the water-boilingunit was not working due to the fermented discharge at the bottom of the tray.Had to call a cab and pay extra for the after 12am service. Look for last minutehotel and pay 100 over just to have a warm shower and sleep without being frozento death. If you remember it was cold and freezing. Yeah, it was winter. And Icame from a tropical hot climate country. So it is obviously very cold for me.

Went to the property agentnext day to complain about the incident. Told him I wanted to make a claim forthe additional expenses incurred. He said nope, we already provided a roof foryou to stay in. Well, I didn't want to ask further what he exactly means bythat statement, as I just wanted to get things working. He was nice saying hewill call the landlord and etc... Gave me also another tenant's contact to callshould I need further assistant. When I wanted to sign up for the 12 monthscontract, boy was he super efficient.

Turned on the hot waterand heater upon arriving back from the agent's office. It worked! Stupid, huh?Apologize to the agent for the inconvenience caused and so forth. Felt verysilly but happy everything is working. Obviously I need to get going to buy allmy other stuff and so on... So off everything left the apartment to do mythings..

Came back at night, hotwater was still working but not the heater. Was not going to pay extra foradditional accommodation, as I am tight on cash. So no choice, wore few layersand thick jacket to bed. Was getting tired, as since the morning I touched downMelb it was only house hunting morning to evening. Night on Internet to searchfor next day’s property listing. Next morning, went for my Melbourne day trip. Night,knocked on my neighbor’s door to see if they could help me with the heater. Sheagreed my heater is spoilt. But I was already under the weather. I just need mysleep and rest. Nearly dead for the weekend.

Monday, 15th Aug morningshoot an email to my agent addressing my problems in writing. No response. 17thcalled but went to voice mail. Left a message. No response. 18th sent anotheremail. 19th called but went voice mail again. Left message. Called the officeand spoke to the office manager. She said she will look into the matter for meand that the agent has apparently replied my email on the 18th. Indeed, he did.It went to my spam mails.

26th Aug: A plumber cameto look at the fermented discharge in my water boiler unit, as I was worried itmight be health hazardous. Plumber also fixed one of my leaking tap. Anothersmall leakage he told me it is under builder's warranty. I won't bother so muchas I want my heater done. Emailed agent to thank him and also remind him of theother outstanding issues.

27th Aug: Anothermaintenance guy came to fix a broken wood.

29th Aug: Emailed agent tothank him and also remind him of the other outstanding issues. At this point Ialso found I cannot open my windows or sliding door due to the flies andinsects flying into my unit. And I have photos taken for the 20 over flies Icaught in my bedroom, kitchen and living area in just two days. It is not evensummer yet! I emailed photos to the agent.

Agent replied awaitinglandlord's response whom is living in Perth. Ask me to send the 2 heaters backto the manufacturers myself. That was the last email I had from myagent.

I replied to his emailsaying I was uncomfortable with the arrangement of me dismantling the heatersby myself. But no response to that.

So I am suppose to un-mountthe 2 electric heaters from the walls (living area and bedroom) and go to thepost office to send it back to the manufacturer as the heater is still underwarranty. Please note, I arrived here with only my clothes. I did not bring anyscrew drivers or whatsoever. I am a female with no car. I need to walk about 8minutes to my closest public transport of bus. I have never in my lifedismantled a heater, as I don't have that in my country. My agent knows aboutmy incapability and not being comfortable to dismantle the heaters as I haveemailed him and the property agent's office manager about it. Office manager -not a single call or email replied too.

I did seek advice fromTenant Union of Victoria and the officer advised me to lodge my application to VCAT.I informed my agent and cc a copy to the office manager of my intentions on 2ndSept. Not a single response.

5th Sept I called themanufacturers regarding the issues I am facing. And also inform her myintentions to escalate the matter to higher authorities. She was moreunderstanding and said she will help me out to call the agent. She did and myagent sent someone to help me dismantle the 2 heaters in the evening.

To date 13th Sept my 2heaters are out from my rented unit since 5th Sept and no news at all. My flyscreen request has not been installed. A guy came on the 8th to only take themeasurements. Since the day I moved in, I have only occupied my room, as it istoo cold to even use the living room. I have bought a portable heater, as Ican't live in a cold place without a heater. I can't open my windows or slidingdoor for ventilation. To use my kitchen with my mind at ease, I cannot openwindows or sliding door at all. I can ventilate my place if I don't intend tohave food lying around. I can't utilize my living area, as it is too cold. So Ido everything in my room.

Please advice.

I am really really fed upof contacting my agent. My heater is an urgent repair. Another neighbor of minewhom had the same problem with me but different agent had his fixed with hisagent sending someone over and replacing a new heater. My agent apparently hasbeen in the industry for about 8 years or so.

So tell me what should Ido if I don't want to apply to make the relation between the agent and myselfworst? Emailing and calling is on deaf ears. Going to Tenant Union Victoria isnot what I have in mind, as it is so simple. Heater, insect screen and I alsorequested an additional lock for my own safety since day one. Is it reallydifficult? I am not having a major repair that can cause few thousand dollars.How can I inform others not to choose the agent as they only care about money?Once taken, you are not on the priority anymore.

Can I contact the landlordmyself and inform them about my problems and see if the delay is due to theagent's inefficiency or just the landlord not agreeing to something?

How difficult is myissues? I hate to chase people to do things. It is your responsibilities. Youare not a small kid anymore. Should I inform the director of the company thestaff is slacking and bringing bad image to the company? Or they probably willjust make things harder for me when I further escalate the matter? Can I claimcompensation that it is more than a month already but I can't utilize myapartment fully. Hence, why should I be paying for the entire rental? Can Ibreak my lease without having to pay compensation since I am only using part ofthe property and it is a health concern for me if I can't ventilate myapartment and there are too many flies and insects in my apartment when I do?Can I black list the agent? Do I have a strong case to claim compensation from the agent? Am I being push aside coz I am a female? Or is there some form of discrimination? Will they make things hard for me when my contract ends?

How to be nice and not being taken advantage of? I feel so helpless not knowing how to get things going. So simple yet the agent is taking his own sweet time. If it was my own place, I would have things sorted out within a week. But renting a place there are so many what if and regulations.


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#2 cfriends?

cfriends?

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Posted 23 September 2011 - 07:25 PM

wow, it's long. I had a quick look. I know what you feel.

Here is what you need to do, upon signing the lease, they are obliged to give you a statement of rights and duties booklet from the Consumer Affairs, read it. There are a list of urgent repair items that they have to fix pretty much straight away. And it tells how many days the agent have to fix other non-urgent problems. Hot water system is one of the most urgent items. Always try to communicate with your agent via email, so you have something on record, once the time limit is reached and they don't do anything about it, then you can call consumer affairs to ask for advise; if there is health hazard, Consumer Affairs can arrange inspectors to go out and check for you, free of charge, and they can help you in dealing with you agent. You also have the right to apply through RTBA and ask to pay your rent to them instead of your agent until the problems are rectified. if it comes to the point that you have to break your lease, get advise first, you can apply through VCAT and ask for compensation and full bond refund.

Sometimes you just have to stand up and not being too polite with them, I worked with some property managers myself so I know what they are like.
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