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Thread: Does this sound normal?

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    TheSisterWife's Avatar
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    #1

    Does this sound normal?

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    Our house (we are the renters) is having electrical problems. The kitchen light just stopped working (we replaced the bulbs to be sure) along with a fixture upstairs, and we think the HVAC units (there is one for each floor) are causing power surges or something, because sometimes when they turn on, the internet goes out for a second and the computer freezes up completely. Also they sound a lot like dying whales or something, and our electric bills have been higher than expected. I went to the property management company's website to submit a maintenance request form, which I have done in the past without running into any problems, and received an email from someone at the office saying "You have to contact the 10-2 homeowner's warranty program." And a signature. I had no idea what they were talking about, so I responded, thinking maybe they thought I was the owner, not the renter? I told them I didn't know what that meant and asked for more info, and they wrote back and said "Oh, it's supposed to be in your lease but I see that it's not. You have to contact the homeowner's warranty company for maintenance requests."

    I'm so confused. I did exactly what I've done in the past for maintenance requests. But whatever. I contacted the warranty people and am waiting semi-patiently for a response. It does seem like this is exactly what the property management company is FOR though... I feel like the owners should know that they aren't handling this. Unless this is normal procedure? Any homeowners have this kind of policy with their property management company for their renters?

    It would be easy for me to contact the owner directly- we're close friends with his parents. But I only want to go that route if my feeling that he's paying someone for a service they're not providing is likely to be correct.
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    #2
    I would contact the owner.

    It is not your job to call the home warranty to fix something at the home, its the landlord's job (or property manager). I would expect you only need to be present for when a repairman comes in. It is possible that the owner will ask you to contact the repair man only AFTER they have contacted the home warranty company and retrieved the repairman's contact info.

    BAsically.. as an owner, I would call Warranty company and put in a request for service. Warranty company then gives me the name and contact info of the person/company that will come look at my issue. The repair company then contacts me to make an appointment for service.. I then make an appointment for service and go from there.

    Based on that, you should have no contact with anyone except landlord or repair company.. and repair company only if you have agreed with the landlord to be available for repairs. Normally the property manager should be the one to be available to talk to the repair company.

    Hope that all makes sense.

    In short, call the owner.. tell them property manager isn't doing their job.

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    #3
    A few things:

    1-As a renter I've contacted the homeowner's warranty company. But, I had to be added as person that could call in and then approve any work. That was 2 separate approvals. For instance, one said I could call issues in. And another said I could approve whatever work would need to be done to fix said issue. The owner did that when we moved in so it wasn't any every time thing. But if you've not been added, I don't see how they would allow you to call something in and definitely not approve any work. Definitely call and try though.

    2-I'd bring it up that it isn't in your lease and if that is the way they want things handled it needs to be in there. That protects you and them. And do not erase the email from them stating they know it is not in there. It may seem like a small issue to not have in there but I'm one that follows the lease as a renter and landlord to a T and that is what a lease is for. To lay out all expectations and rules.

    3-This ties into the above 2. Every time I called the warranty company to have them come out for an issue I had to pay $75. If there were more than 1 trip for one issue it was still the one $75 fee. So say the dryer isn't heating and it takes 2 trips to find the aide and fix it, it is still that one $75. Now, here is where this ties into the above 2. Who pays for that? Who pays if the repair isn't fully covered and the cost is more than that fee-who pays for that? And do you need to be listed as a person to accept from? Since I was approved for everything I'm not sure if that is a need.
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    #4
    Good point about the $75...

    As a renter I wouldn't be expected to pay it.. but as an owner I am.

    There are 10 types of people in the world, those that understand binary and those that don't
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    #5
    Good thoughts, ladies. Thanks. I think I will contact the owner. Meanwhile, I have a very, very dark kitchen.
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    #6
    It was in our lease that we paid the fee. One thing I wasn't crazy about but after dealing with a couple landlords that took forever to arrange repairs I thought it may be better as a whole. But that is where your lease comes in OP.
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    #7
    Yeah, this isn't in the lease at all. It's weird, because I've used their normal maintenance request form before with no problems. We just renewed our lease, but it starts in March, so even if there WERE changes that I failed to read (there aren't- it's exactly the same as the last year's) they wouldn't have taken effect yet.

    I'm wondering if the Property Management company updated THEIR contract with the homeowner but forgot to make the changes in the standard lease or something. It's just weird.

    I like my house a lot, and they didn't increase the rent for the next year, and this is the first even minor problem of any kind that I've had, but I am definitely confused.
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    I'd contact the owner, but not in a complainy way, just o point out the change and tell her I wanted to make sure she was aware that her company was handling it differently. But I'd also make sure when I spoke with the insurance company that I had clear info on any deductible, and I'm work with the property manager or owner if necessary to make sure hey paid that up front or made some arrangement.
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    The rest has been dealt with, but get yourself a UPS for your computer! Today.

    It is basically a battery that sits between your computer and the electric socket. If the power goes out, the UPS keeps it running so it can shut down properly. It also protects the computer from damage due to the power fluctuations.
    They are as low as $49 and can cost hundreds, but you just need a basic one, under $100.
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