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View Full Version : How rapidly can a repair be expected to take?



plk1
07-02-2008, 23:04 PM
Hello there,

This site seems like the best place to ask this - I'm not a landlord, but have been reading the various posts on here for some time now, to learn as much as I can whilst renting my first flat.

Basically, the situation is this. My girlfriend and I live in a relatively old block of flats, and the locks on the main entrance doorway are in pretty poor condition. That's not to say that they don't work -- in fact, it's the opposite, with the front door being really, really hard to open. It's taken me up to 10 minutes of jamming, pushing, pulling and turning to open the door in the past!

Now, I don't mind things being a bit worn, and a bit old, and obviously I'm not going to cause a big fuss because it's a bit hard just for me to get in. But, the problem is, that my girlfriend literally cannot unlock the door. She has tried so, so hard, and tried every trick that I have tried, and she just can't do it. We came home from the cinema the other day, and she wanted to try it in front of me, and did all the same things that I do to get it open, but literally wasn't able to. Worse still, she gave herself an enormous blood-blister on her finger in the process :S

Lately, some people have been decorating one of the flats here, so people have been around during the day to let my girlfriend into the building, but they aren't there every day. She finishes work at mid-day, and has often been going back to work to kill some time until either I am home, or some other people are likely to be back, after finding it physically impossible to enter the building.

We have let the estate agents who we are letting through know about this, and they say that they have contacted the people who manage the building about it. Apparently the management people said that someone else had complained (an elderly lady lives here also, and I would assume that it would be her), and that they would look into it.

That was a fortnight ago, and this whole situation is beginning to cause real stress now - what can and should we do? Is there some kind of process to go through? Any advice would be much appreciated!:D

Ericthelobster
08-02-2008, 07:37 AM
That was a fortnight ago, and this whole situation is beginning to cause real stress now - what can and should we do? Is there some kind of process to go through? Any advice would be much appreciated!:DHave you followed up. or just made the one contact?

Other than that - I think this is a case where you'd be on pretty firm ground if you were to get in a tradesman yourself to sort it, and deduct the cost from your next rent payment, especially on the grounds that this is a clear fire safety hazard. Put something in writing to the agent first.

Might be worth putting in a call to the local council's tenant liaison officer to see what they have to say on the matter.

jeffrey
08-02-2008, 10:00 AM
plk1: why not contact:
a. your landlord (direct), who is probably a leaseholder of the flat; or
b. his/her own landlord, which is probably the block's freehold reversioner or management company?

plk1
13-02-2008, 16:18 PM
Hello there,

Thanks for the replies - and sorry that I hadnt replied sooner, as work has had me rather snowed under during the last week.

Anyway, I have, as you suggested, since contacted the estate agents once again. They have tried to get in contact with the people who manage the building, but had some trouble in doing so. I asked for the name and details of the people who are responsible for managing the building.

After countless phone calls, I managed to reach someone who told me that they had emailed the chairperson in charge of the block, as well as left a phone message with that person asking for permission to fix the problem. Thus far, they hadn't heard anything back from that person, so nothing had been done.

What can I do in such a situation? This has, as I said, been going on for weeks now, and I have no faith that anything is actually being done about it.

Thanks :)

Grange
13-02-2008, 16:27 PM
Have you called the landlord? Tell him you're going to get somebody out and will withhold the rent to cover it; see what he says.

Ericthelobster
13-02-2008, 18:55 PM
What can I do in such a situation? This has, as I said, been going on for weeks now, and I have no faith that anything is actually being done about it.Do what I suggested in my previous post.

heather5
13-02-2008, 20:34 PM
You must be renting a studio in my block is all I can think.

We have exactly the same problem - and it is a block of some 70 plus studios - and trying to get in the main door is a pain in the arse - I thought it was just the way that my key had been cut until I discovered that everyone has the same problem.

Don't get stressed by such stuff - it's small stuff in the scheme of things.

However, what happened here is that we all got together and reported it to the Management Company.

The key is also connected to a very sophisticated entry phone system - and so it's not a simple case of "fix it" - because it has to go to a committee - etc and that takes time.

Because it has to be agreed on and actioned - it takes some time - but we recently received notice from the Secretary saying that it is noted and something will be done.

It will mean for them a lot of money because it means changing every system in each flat - at the same time for it to be replaced - and many tenants in the block have refused!!!

So it's not as easy potentially as you say.

Talk to your LL and ask about how it all gets changed.

Have patience .... before you try to sue them!!!