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This is a question Moving home

"Moving house is one the more stressful moments in life," claims Social Hand Grenade. What horrible things have happened to you as you shift your black bin bag of undies from one hovel to the next?

(, Tue 6 Jan 2015, 13:17)
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Looking in from the outside- working for a landlord. Aka: why your house sucks and is full of broken stuff.
A while ago I found myself between jobs and ended up working for the landlord as a maintenance man. Here is my tale.

1. The layers of abstraction.
Renters have a simple relationship right? You give money to the landlord who lets you live in your house in return. lolnope. Odds are you are paying a property management company who manages for the actual owner. unless they are leasing the property, or outsourcing the management to another lettings agent. Getting the owners permission to carry out any work is like a game of Chinese whispers, where the end goal is to try and convince an absentee landlord living abroad the need to replace curtains that the mold has gotten to.

2. lack of communication.
Due to aforementioned byzantine ownership/permission hierarchies I was not allowed to do any work without a signed work order. This would be a list of helpful information such as 'light not working'. On arriving at the property it would be up to me to track down the problem. Often while explaining to any tenants that I couldn't do anything not listed on the work order. And that any additional problems would have to be sorted out by calling the landlord and waiting another six weeks for the new work order to get back to me.

3. Juggling responsibilities.
I found myself being the sole maintenance man for a list of over two hundred properties. It was my job to sort out what order to do various repairs. This was done with a simple list of priorities ranging from 'flames/sparks shooting out' to 'ugly colour'. If you have been waiting on a repair in your home for a while, chances are its because another tenant is up to their ankles in toilet water and carbon monoxide.

4. Time management I
The best way to get me to fly into a murderous rage is to ask me to 'just do' something. After working out a time where I could finally get access to 123XYZ street to fix the broken toilet, I would be told "Can you just pop by 321ZYX street and get it ready for the new people?". This couldn't be put off as the new tenants were moving in in two days. Oh and the previous lot trashed the place, and the property is on the other side of the city in the middle of a traffic clusterfuck. This scenario played out at least once a week.

5. Time management II
I worked under the strict instruction that I would always buy the cheapest materials possible. Try painting over stains with 'paint' the consistency of milk. Especially as layering it over may bring the twenty year old wallpaper down with the weight, followed by the forty year old plaster. Most of my work was involved in patching up the cracks and making do. Planning long term and taking time to complete a job was be strictly penalized.

6. Paying for the mistakes of previous people.
Given that getting any repairs on the property is a an uphill struggle its not uncommon for a lot of people to say 'fuck this' and just give up on paying rent, giving notice and tidying up. If you wonder why your landlord hates you before you have already moved in its because he is judging you by the last set of assholes. Of course this works the other way too. One nice group of people had vacated a property in a flawless condition. Except for two missing light bulbs in the kitchen. This cost them a significant chunk of their deposit. Being billed for the time for me to drive to the property carry a ladder up four flights of stairs, find out the obscure fitting for the halogen spotlights,check the electrical connections, drive to the hardware shop buy two light bulbs, drive back and fit them, carry a ladder down four flights of stairs and drive back to the office.

TL;DR its worth complaining about every little thing even just to create a paper trail.
(, Sat 17 Jan 2015, 14:42, 16 replies)
Maybe you should have tried harder in school

(, Sat 17 Jan 2015, 14:49, closed)

tried harder in gone to
(, Sat 17 Jan 2015, 22:39, closed)

(, Sat 17 Jan 2015, 20:20, closed)
keep your weird sex talk to irc

(, Sun 18 Jan 2015, 10:56, closed)
^wants me all to himself.

(, Sun 18 Jan 2015, 15:09, closed)
so I'm doing it wrong then
scenario: My tenants email me with a request to fix the borked washing machine. I reasonably request that they have a go in checking some common issues. They get arsey and start hassling my agent who in turn starts hassling me. I cave in within 24 hours and have someone fix it. My tenants LOVE spending my money - they find something that requires a call-out at least once a month. The latest is the front door - they WANT a replacement - they're not fucking getting one.
(, Sun 18 Jan 2015, 11:14, closed)
Haha, renter scum with their unreasonable demands that you help them to keep out wind, rain and burglars

(, Sun 18 Jan 2015, 13:29, closed)
I know, right?
Typical renting scenario #1

Tenant: The door is damaged, it needs replacing.
Landlord: Fuck off.

End of contract

Landlord: There is damage to a door and you will lose your deposit.
Tenant: "..."
(, Mon 19 Jan 2015, 12:25, closed)
the only time I had to replace a door on this job
Was when I was doing up a repossession ready for resale. The best part was standing in the dark on the street corner in moss side, waiting for the door to be delivered so I could finish painting over the marks left by the former inhabitants crack pipe(s)
(, Mon 19 Jan 2015, 14:28, closed)
Used to be a guy on here who had THOUSANDS
of rental properties. Never had a problem he couldn't handle.
(, Sun 18 Jan 2015, 13:42, closed)
yeah the dice are really loaded in the favour of tenants.

(, Sun 18 Jan 2015, 21:54, closed)
see point 6.
I was once called out to take a look at a dishwasher for similar reasons. It was about a week old and totally useless. A lot of work had been done on the kitchen fairly recently including a new draining board for the sink.

The appliance people had been sent round to install the cheapest model of dishwasher. Only to find that it would no longer fit under the counter due to the new draining board.their elegent solution was to remove the pipe that allowed the draining board to drain. Finding this to be still to tight a squeeze, in an excellent bit of lateral thinking they decided to cut the top off the dishwasher. Yes you read that right, I pulled out the dishwasher to find that a large hole had been cut in the outer casing. With a bin bag taped over the top as a replacement. Un surprisingly as the hole was directly under the disconnected drain for the sink draining board, the bag had failed and allowed water to fill up the dishwasher electrics.
(, Mon 19 Jan 2015, 9:33, closed)
haha, like anyone's got time to read that shit

(, Sun 18 Jan 2015, 23:03, closed)
especially when it's got fuck all to do with the question

(, Mon 19 Jan 2015, 22:49, closed)
as a former lettings manager, i feel your pain
worst types of phone calls from shouty tenants:

I RANG YESTERDAY TO TELL YOU MY TOILET IS BROKEN AND NOBODY HAS BEEN TO FIX IT, resulting in every single colleague putting their head down, as no fucker was admitting to forgetting to process a job sheet.

worst types of deposit refund processing:

the person who did the check-in was a lazy cunt, and the inventory basically extends to "coloured bathroom suite". the person who did the check-out was more anal than YM on friday night and lists every tiny little crack. this results in more SHOUTING.

worst types of workmen:

lost every single fucking set of keys for the property. every single fucking time.

lather, rinse, repeat with a million things.

still enjoyed that job though. when it went well, it was really nice finding people homes that they liked.
(, Tue 20 Jan 2015, 17:03, closed)
the worst workmen in my experience were my predecessors
Who for the love of god 'seals' a bath using plasterers caulk instead of silicone? I had to replace the ceiling in the room downstairs.
(, Tue 20 Jan 2015, 19:19, closed)

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