Sunday, August 9, 2009

A close call

Last Friday my house basically imploded. Everything seemed to stop working at once - the dishwasher, the oven and causing the most drama, our beloved inbuilt gas heater thingee. Our house seems to be built of glass, with the glass attached to very draughty louvre windows. It's a great summer house, but in winter the heat just disappears out through the glass and the gaps. In our ongoing battle against the cold, the heater that came with the house we rent has the ability to pump out so much heat that it can keep our draughty house warm. I can't even imagine how hot that thing would get in a enclosed draught free room. Probably dangerous levels I'd imagine. So when on a cold Friday afternoon it finally died, we were all a little traumatised. The gas guy said it would take a bout a week to fix. Disaster! I dragged out the old oil column heaters we'd had in NZ that tended to blow the fuses in this house. I thought that maybe as they hadn't been used for 2 1/2 years and the fact they'd been lying on their side the whole time since then, it might make a difference. But nup, not only on that cold, dark Friday night was my oven, dishwasher and favorite gas heater not working, but neither was any electricity in the house. Time for drastic measure, I got the power working again and put the boys in front of the teeny tiny heater I'd bought that week for the study (see photo above, I put the bulldop clip in the photo to provide a comparison)and headed to the computer. The property manager had left me a message on my phone at something like 5.29pm (with offices closing at 5.30pm of course) saying that he'd asked the owners in Singapre for permission to ask someone to come out and look at the problems (ie not fix the problems as that would require more iteration with the Singapore owners). Now I know you shouldn't write e-mails when extremely cross and cold, however I blatantly did just this, not even pausing to re-read before hitting send. I was angry and he needed to hear it. This was my e-mail.....

Thanks XXXXX, so service repair people have not even been contacted? Surely there is a minimum amount of repairs that you are authorised to do without the owners approval - I'm guessing that these two repair jobs will not even come close to that minimum, however once quotes are finally provided we'll then have to go through the owner's approval process again (and waiting for them to come back to you yet again), meaning we are now facing a cold weekend with no oven, dishwasher, nor heating - I know with our property that we have rented out, we have authorised repairs up to a certain amount that the property manager can make without us needing to approve them. This is unacceptable - we didn't have the dishwasher for 3 weeks over the Xmas period and now we are facing that again, with one week coming quickly around. Surely for a rental of $XXX (ie heaps!) which in todays market is well over the market value for this property and for tenants that have been here for 3 years, this shows no degree of trust or respect for us.

Appreciate if you can act as quickly as you are able, but frankly we are finding this unacceptable. That gas heater is a safety issue. Safety must surely take priority over anything.


Geez, not particularly friendly nor tenant-like when I reread now.
However, by some freak of nature or maybe the after effects of the bug Sheree sent when she sent all of us a zillion copies of the same e-mail (ahem, another time for that story eh Sheree, just as well we've all been friends for many, many years), this is the response I got back from him....

Hi Lisa,

Unfortunately I am unable to open either email due to the file format? Can you please resend in another format?

In the meantime, the owner has come back to me with their approval to go ahead, I will make arrangements for the service companies to contact you to attend asap.


Hmm, do you think I reworded it a little when I sent it back again after calming down a bit? Damn straight. That folks, is what's called a close call!

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