Friday, July 26, 2013

There's no such thing as a free shirt

We're a gracious lot here at the Brown Couch. As a way of saying 'thanks' for your continued support of the work of the Tenants' Advice & Advocacy Services and the Tenants' Union of NSW, we'd like to give away a couple of T-shirts.


We don't have many. As much as we'd like to, we can't just give them out to anybody who wants one. Instead, we've come up with a bit of a game - play the game, and you can have a free shirt.

It's a pretty simple game. Here's how it works:

We're going to pretend that we've got a situation where some rising damp is causing an internal wall to blister and peel. At first it just looked like a coat of paint would fix it, but it's pretty obvious now that more than that will be required.


The landlord has said they'd fix it, but they don't really seem that concerned about it. From our own inspections, we can see that this wall has been patched up before…


We're sure the landlord ought to do more this time. How can we get them to fix it properly?

***

Answer this question

- Or -

Tell us about a time when you asked for your landlord to fix something

- Or -

Tell us what you would change to make asking your landlord to fix something less of an ordeal

… and we'll send you a shirt.

***

All answers need to be left as comments on this blog.

Feel free to answer anonymously, but in order to get your shirt, you'll also need to contact us so we can get one to you in the correct size. The best way to do that is by Facebook or Twitter, but if you're not on the social pages you can always contact us by more traditional means.


13 comments:

  1. i had water leaking from my roof into one of the rooms. I got onto the real estate because I suspected a broken pipe. After weeks of telling me it was merely due to recent heavy rain, they finally got someone into the roof to fix the pipe, saving the landlord, really, having to demolish the house that would have rotted away. I go an inspection and a rent increase for my trouble.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Anonymous. Sort of a happy ending, and sort of a sad one...

      We'll get your shirt out to you ASAP.

      Cheers,
      N.C.

      Delete
  2. Put your request to the landlord in writing. If nothing happens after giving a set deadine apply for a maintenance order at the CTTT to get the work done & a compensation order if any personal affects were damaged even after taking precautions to protect them from damage.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you too, Anonymous - a complete response. You've done this before?

      But...

      If the landlord has already said they'll fix it, is the CTTT likely to be of much use? Will we be able to get them to do more than just patch it up again? What does the law say?

      Cheers,
      N.C.

      PS We'll get your shirt out to you ASAP.

      Delete
  3. Smash the state!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, Anonymous.

      I'm not sure that brings us any closer to our tenants' utopia - can you be a little more specific?

      Cheers,
      N.C.

      Delete
  4. We had been in our house for a few weeks when the hot water went, our LL told us to check out the hot water system to see if the pilot light went out, it had so we got it going then a few days later it went out again, we couldn't get it going, so we txt them and they sent around their cousin to get it going, he got it going but said it wouldn't it last long, as he needed to get a part for it, once it was fitted and fixed the HWS lasted only a few days. Once again I txt our LL who didn't get back to me, we txt again the next day and they said a plumber is coming to look at it, the plumber said the HWS is no good and had to install a new one, later that day on FB my LL had posted a status complaining about it, the new HWS was $1600 and they have no money what so ever! We were without hot water for 2 weeks!
    And the LL is my best mates mum who I have known since year 7 !!

    Also to top it off we have a toilet that is blocked and they suggested using rootox, I did for the following 4 weeks, then all of a sudden we have sewerage along the side of our house! Its been this way for almost 2 weeks also and after constant txts they finally replied saying their cousin will come look, that was meant to happen yesterday...

    Then another FB status update LOL

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, Anonymous, yuck... and how awkward!

      Drop us a line with your details and we'll send you out a shirt.

      And don't forget about our factsheets, the Tenants Rights Manual or your local Tenants' Advice & Advocacy Service if you need more information about your rights in this situation. Details at www.tenants.org.au.

      Cheers,
      N.C.

      Delete
    2. Thanks for your ideas everyone, still to date the plumbing has not been fixed, we have given up we are going to look for another place.
      I can't find a contact for you N.C can you email me and I can send my details, my email is kyky_sissy10@hotmail.com
      Thanks

      Delete
  5. For the above problem I'd ask the Landlord in writing to make the necessary repairs. I'd give a clear deadline on when I'd like the problem fixed as well as keeping a copy of the letter I sent. I'd also keep copies of any correspondence sent about the problem.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Matthew,

      Thanks for playing - a very sound approach that would see you well equipped to take further action if required.

      However, it might still prove tricky to get a proper fix. The landlord is only required to keep the property in a reasonable state of repair, having regard to the age and prospective life of the premises, and the amount of rent charged.

      In some instances, yet another patch-up job might be just enough for the landlord to convince this Tribunal that the repair obligation has been fulfilled. Of course, a prudent landlord might want to take better care of their property - and their tenant - than that. But unfortunately not all landlords are so prudent.

      Please drop us a line with your details so we can send out your shirt.

      Cheers,
      N.C.

      Delete
  6. I would add an alternative to tribunal - t who has taken reasonable steps can withhold rent up to the cost of the repair, and get the repair done by a licenced tradesperson, so long as they provided the landlord with a quote and written notice of their intention to do so, 14 days before work commences. Onus is on the landlord to challenge in Tribunal.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Bookworm,

      An interesting notion.

      Currently the law in NSW allows a tenant to cover the cost and seek reimbursement for urgent repairs (up to $1000), provided certain conditions have been met (so always get advice before doing this).

      However, this does not stretch so far as to allow rent to be withheld, and it does not apply to general repairs.

      Changing the law to allow tenants to be proactive about repairs (if the landlord isn't coming to the party) - perhaps in the way you have suggested - would certainly make things better. This begs the question... what can we do to bring about such change?

      Thanks for playing. Please drop us a line with your details so we can send out your t-shirt.

      Cheers,
      N.C.

      Delete

Please keep your comments PC - that is, polite and civilised. Comments may be removed at the discretion of the blog administrator; no correspondence will be entered into. Comments that are abusive of individual persons, or are sexist, racist or otherwise offensive will be removed, so don’t bother leaving them.