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Flood damage: Part 2 
26th-Nov-2008 06:05 am
I had also gone into work on Friday and spoke to several colleagues who had experienced storm damage. All of them said their insurance companies were extremely helpful and said they could do whatever they needed to do to make things right.

Given this feedback, we couldn't understand why our property agent was being so dismissive of our concerns. The property manager didn't even bother to drive down 2 mins to inspect the unit to assess the damage themselves. By Friday, the carpets smelt completely foul.

I called the property manager to reinforce the fact that as long as the carpets were not removed, the unit was unliveable. Flies were everywhere and mould was growing in the darkest parts of the cupboards. No one should have to live there in that condition. And that our neighbour had ripped up his carpets to discover the water had gone into the concrete, so ours would definitely be the same. Leaving the water to sit there would only cause further damage.

The property manager got huffy with me and said that was all she could do. And she was not managing our neighbour's property, so he was not her concern. I stated again that this was unacceptable, since we had just paid rent for 2 weeks and the unit was unliveable. We couldn't possibly live there in that condition and if something couldn't be done sooner, we may have to terminate our lease. She huffed at me and said: "Fine! Terminate your lease." and put the phone down on me.

Our neighbour was in constant contact with us and asked what the status of our carpets were. We informed him that there was no change and no plans to strip the carpets. He was furious as the water from our unit would simply seep into the concrete and into his apartment, so even if he did lay down new carpet, it would more than likely rot again from water damage. He asked for the property manager's phone number and called her to state again that if the carpets were not removed, it would not only affect the unit, but his and the entire apartment structure as well.

By this time, we had had enough and decided we would terminate our lease. Even if she managed to have the carpets replaced in 7 days, the weather bureau had projected another 2 big storms and we didn't want to risk having to sort ourselves out after another flood.

As we made preparations to move out, the property manager called the SO. She was obviously trying to be civil in the beginning of the conversation, but when she mentioned that our neighbour had called her and she did not appreciate his ugly words, nor that she should have to deal with his call, because she was doing the right thing according to the insurance people that the carpets should be dried, not removed.

She then said we could move out if we wanted to.

The SO: "Thanks, we'll keep that in mind."
Property manager: "Given night_child80's concerns about health and everything, will you be terminating your lease?"
The SO: "We'll speak to you on Monday."
Property manager: "So the unit is liveable?"
The SO: "No, it's not."
Property manager: "So will you be terminating your lease?"
The SO: "Yes, we'll be terminating."
Property manager: "I'll make a note of it and you can bring in the keys today or tomorrow."

WTF?! It's Friday. We only made the decision to move an hour ago. Who can move all their possessions from their home in less than 24 hours?! The cow...

At this time, we were on the way to the airport to pick up bankevair and iriael. lorenai was kind enough to come help us pack, alongside the mum-in-law. With some coordination effort, we worked till almost midnight moving the large stuff to the in-laws.
25th-Nov-2008 09:13 pm (UTC)
: \ that is so not on!! Your property manager is so unreasonable. *hugs* Take care melmel! I really hope everything's more or less ok for you both right now!
26th-Nov-2008 12:30 am (UTC)
I'm not impressed either. Without a hint of sympathy nor care, I honestly wonder if she possesses an ounce of humanity at all.
25th-Nov-2008 09:58 pm (UTC)
Please write long and detailed letter of complaint. Your property manager is really asking for the sack... sheesh
25th-Nov-2008 11:47 pm (UTC)
Agreed. If you need help, I'll help you spice it up with over the top vernacular. "Emotional stress", "terminating under duress" etcetc comes to mind.

I'm sorry to hear abt the flood, babe.. *hugs* Hopefully you'll find somewhere better.

fucking property agents
25th-Nov-2008 10:33 pm (UTC)
Did your neighbour ever get in touch with your landlord?
25th-Nov-2008 11:33 pm (UTC)
Yes, he did, which is why the property manager called the SO to say she didn't appreciate our neighbour's 'ugly words', which I asked him about and he said he wasn't rude nor used foul language. He was merely very firm.
25th-Nov-2008 11:33 pm (UTC)
Oh my goodness! That's so terrible! :( I hope you can get everything sorted out soon! *hugs*

Out of curiosity/interest as a geographer, do you know the kind of flood it was (ie. 1 in 100 years)?
26th-Nov-2008 12:27 am (UTC)
The last such flood in this area was in 1974, but the circumstances were slightly different. More info at wiki.
26th-Nov-2008 01:21 am (UTC)
Sorry to hear that.
The property manager sounds pretty dense, I really don't see why not fixing a problem before it gets worse to be a better idea.

Guess they just want to do the bare minimum that is required as a gesture to show that they tried something.

Glad you are rid of that pesky property manager now. Wish you all the best.
26th-Nov-2008 01:50 am (UTC)
That is more than likely the case, because in all our previous interactions with her, she had never come across as a person who is willing to go to extra mile to ensure things are done well and right. It's no doubt the result of such a lucrative rental industry the last few years.
26th-Nov-2008 01:39 am (UTC)
Property manager: "Given night_child80's concerns about health and everything, will you be terminating your lease?"

OMG, can we all take a number to bitch-slap this stupid git of a property manager?? It's a FLOOD, not a kiddy swimming pool in your house!

I'm glad you and Tom decided to terminate your lease though, it's just not worth the grief and frustration to keep deal with arseholes like that.

26th-Nov-2008 01:54 am (UTC)
That's what our neighbour did and she 'didn't appreciate his ugly words' and that she 'shouldn't need to have to deal with him'. Sure it does! This affects his property as much as it does ours, and he's the president of the body corporate (a collective of owners in the block). If I was the owner, I would want to know that everything was being done to ensure my property was being kept in good condition, given it's an investment property. And certainly her actions didn't reflect that everything was being done to protect this investment.

Anyway, once we get our bond and rent back, it'll be over and we'll keep looking for a new home.
26th-Nov-2008 02:38 am (UTC)
Yeah you have to leave, but really... saying you are likely going to leave and actually writing a formal intent to vacate letter are two DIFFERENT things. :p

Well, document all the damage and all. I feel sorry for whoever movies in there if that damage isn't corrected. :c
26th-Nov-2008 06:26 am (UTC)
We've submitted a formal intent to leave the property on Monday, considering the skies are not quite done with us yet and we would rather not risk having another flood come through.

We have photos of the damage, so hopefully that will help.

As for feeling sorry for the next person, I would, as the agent will more than likely attempt to charge more rent after the damages have been repaired. I do wonder how far they will attempt to repair the damage, as the water has probably gone into the carpet and wall skirtings too.
26th-Nov-2008 02:56 am (UTC)
What a retarded property manager! I hope her own home gets ugly and she has to deal with this sort of treatment, but worse. HMPH. How can anyone do business like that?! -huggles you tight-
26th-Nov-2008 06:28 am (UTC)
I believe in karma, so it is up to the fates to dish out what she gave us.

You'd be surprised this is the sort of treatment most people get out here. Australia may be a friendly and courteous nation, but that is a general assumption and not necessarily the case when it comes to business transactions.
26th-Nov-2008 03:25 am (UTC)
the property manager is such an ass. I hope she/he will get flooded.

well maybe something good could come out of this, a blessing in disguise even though you probably have to go through the hassle of finding a new place. I think it was a good decision to terminate, afterall if the other two storms comes and worst things happen, i doubt that property manager will even bother still. and moving out in less than 24 hours is really bull, thank god for extra hands! If theres anything i can do to help just holler :) <3

26th-Nov-2008 06:32 am (UTC)
Maybe she has, cuz several other areas experienced storm damage. Some houses several streets from ours had parts of their roof torn off from the winds. In which case, she should have been able to sympathize with our situation, but obviously didn't.

And thanks for the offer! We just want to get all these things sorted asap and get on with our normal lives.
26th-Nov-2008 03:39 am (UTC)
Oh gawd I'm glad you terminated your lease. She's such a fucking unreasonable bitch?! I agree with Shu that we should all take a number to bitch slap her DDDD<!
26th-Nov-2008 06:33 am (UTC)
Our neighbour has and he couldn't get through to her the severity of the situation. Which in itself is unbelievable, cuz it was all over the news and EVERYONE knows the storms the last week have been crazy.
26th-Nov-2008 03:59 am (UTC)
that fucken cow!

is there no way to get back at her? go over her head, something, anything? KEY HER CAR?!?!
26th-Nov-2008 06:34 am (UTC)
We are considering our options at the moment and have been in contact with several tenant advocacy and advisory groups. We'll keep friends updated on the situation.
(Deleted comment)
26th-Nov-2008 06:38 am (UTC)
Isn't it? If she had visited the apartment or provided more definitive actions... or merely been a little more sympathetic, we would not have had to deal with the amount of stress and uncertainty as we did.

I believe the REIWA is a national organisation and I think we saw REIWA certificates on the property manager's office wall, so a letter of complaint to them may be an avenue we'd consider. Thanks for bringing that up!
26th-Nov-2008 11:12 am (UTC)
yeah, i agree with everyone: on top of complaining to reiwa, higher ups and all, is there a local town councils or mayors you can complain to?

being so dismissive towards you living in such conditions should be unacceptable on all levels. sure, she could be stressed or following insurance instructions - but right now you need somewhere else to stay, aka you need your bond and all back, not try and dry carpets that obviously will not dry.

hopefully you have found somewhere better by now, or at least better agents that are more helpful. but i am guessing the rental market is getting skewered too yeah?
26th-Nov-2008 12:07 pm (UTC)
call her boss and complain about her i gues... seriously if this is the road humanity is going down *shakes head*
26th-Nov-2008 08:31 pm (UTC)
What's the possibility of suing the property manager and their insurance company? This is gross negligence.
26th-Nov-2008 10:05 pm (UTC)
We have not started considering that avenue. At least not until all the others have been been exhausted.
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