Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Housing Maintenance

Only two more days until the US, where I can blend in with the crowd, and not be the Giant White American Woman!

We've had a run of bad luck lately with housing maintenance, both here and back in Texas. We are having trouble with our new television that we bought here, and our bathroom window is leaking like crazy. When our TV is off for several hours or overnight, it usually takes two or three tries before it will switch on. We can hear it click, but either we get sound but no picture, or we get nothing. Yesterday, the TV repair guy finally came over and replaced the dillymajobber that he thought was causing the problem, but this morning we had the same issue, so we have no idea what's wrong with it. Since the TV is less than six months old, and wasn't cheap, we are obviously concerned and want to get it fixed while it's still under warranty.

Also, our bathroom window has been leaking for several months now. We first noticed it because our towel shelving is right in front of it, so we noticed moldy towels on the bottom shelf. Ick. Contractors here are notorious for being late, or not showing up at all, so after multiple phone calls, and me basically being a thorn in maintenance's side all last week, they finally came today, armed with the biggest caulking gun I have ever seen. They were here for about five minutes, then came out to the living room and told me that they couldn't fix it because the guy hadn't brought the right tool. So I wonder why exactly our building's maintenance had to come look at it several weeks ago to determine what was wrong with it. One would think that he wanted to check it out so that he could tell the contractor the problem so that when they came over, they would be prepared to fix it. One would think.

As for the house in Texas, we are renting it out, and so far we've had pretty good luck with our renter. He pays his rent on time (for the most part) and our neighbor there says he takes care of the house and the yard. We know he has two small dogs in the house, which is prohibited in the lease, but it really hasn't bothered us. Now, if I go over there in July when I'm back in Houston, and find out that the dogs have been pissing everywhere, then we'll have a problem. I can handle my own pets peeing on the carpet, but not anyone else's pets. Well, as it turns out, the property management company hasn't really been doing their job, according to our renter. Our neighbor, who we trust, backs him up, so I don't think it's a case of whiny renter syndrome. The air conditioner went on the fritz, and it took four days and multiple phone calls from us and the renter for the property manager to fix it. That's just not cool...no pun intended. I know that if I was a renter, and the air con went out in Houston, in June, and they weren't on it pronto, I'd probably be a bit hot under the collar myself. Okay, that pun was intended.

It's hard to manage these sorts of issues from halfway around the world. It's not like we can show up at the property manager's office and demand to have it fixed. We can't oversee the work and make sure that it's quality work. So we kind of just have to cross our fingers and hope for the best. We're lucky that we have a great neighbor who keeps an eye on things for us. We're not doing back flips over having to spend several thousand dollars on a house that we don't live in, but welcome to being a landlord I suppose. Houses cost money, and it's due to be replaced, so it's just one of those things. Hopefully, this is the last major house expense for a while. We had the roof replaced and the house painted before we left for Malaysia. Pray for our foundation...

**UPDATE:** Hubby just got home and he had a good discussion with our property manager. As it turns out, he basically did everything by the book, plus the air con is now fixed. What happened is that the air con broke, the renter took two days to get something in writing to the prop manager, meanwhile called his own buddy to come fix it, which lasted a day, then the property manager maintenance person fixed it the next day, which again, lasted a day, and then it was the weekend. I still think that no air con is a maintenance emergency which requires some weekend work, but tell that to the repair people. As far as his other (somewhat petty) complaints, per the lease, they are his responsibility. No, Mr. Renter, someone will not come and pressure wash the back patio. Rent a pressure washer and do it yourself. So at least we can feel better about our property management person.


At June 19, 2007 at 10:15 PM , Anonymous donna said...

YOU WILL BE IN HOUSTON IN JULY????? OK, tell me when because I will totally pack up this baby and drive down to see you, even if it's just for lunch!


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