Author Topic: Renter, bathoom issues - need an outside perspective  (Read 6121 times)

FiguringItOut

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 775
  • Location: NYC
Renter, bathoom issues - need an outside perspective
« on: October 12, 2015, 04:10:16 PM »
I posted about issues I had regarding my bathroom leaking into the bathroom of a downstairs renter.  This post http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/real-estate-and-landlording/i'm-a-renter-am-i-being-unreasonable-what-shouldcan-i-do/

Anyway, this is all still going on, but now there is more. 

After they opened up a wall in my second bathroom to 'repair' the leak to downstairs from my main bathroom, now there are problems with my bathroom they were fixing.  As a result of this, they disconnected the faucet in my master shower, leaving me with only overhead shower. 

From what I was able to gather, the whole leaking issue was from the faulty connection between the faucet and the shower head in my master shower.  So they just bypassed the faucet without telling me what they are doing and 'fixed' the problem.  Now, I don't have that faucet.

I asked them to fix it and reconnect my faucet.  They are saying that it will take a week and will require to open up the whole wall. 

Here's my problem.  Without that faucet I don't have any place in the apartment where I can fill large bucket of water, do a little wash if a item of clothing got stain or whatever (I have two kids, so stains prevail), etc.  Both of bathroom sinks are on a small and shallow side.  The second bathroom has a bathtub with the faucet and a shower, BUT in order to turn on that faucet you have to climb into the bathtub.  That half of the tub is blocked by glass door and vanity with the sink.  So for the purpose of doing a quick wash or filling something with water, that faucet is useless, unless I also want to take a shower at the same time. 

The shower in my bathroom is set up without a tub.  A tray on the floor with faucet at the open end of the shower (the other end blocked by glass door and toilet) and a shower head above.  This was basically the only place where I could access water without having to fill something with 2 cup measures or getting completely wet in the process.

So of course they don't want to open up the whole wall and fix this.  I get it.  They are questioning why even need the faucet.  I send an email to the owner explaining that it was the only spot that I could use for certain things.  Haven't heard back yet.

So now, I'm having my doubts.  They of course make me feel like I'm being unreasonable and uncooperative.  And I can't figure out if I really am.  They renovated this apartment before I moved in.  The previous tenant lived here for 11 years.  So they did a major rehab and redid the bathroom.  Is it my fault that they did a crappy job on the water pipes?  They also pointing out that they replaced my fridge with a new bigger fridge.  They did replace it, but the old fridge was leaking from day one when I moved here and needed to be replaced.  That was an old fridge, not updated one from the rehab.  There was no way around it, it started leaking form the freezer on to the top shelf of the fridge from the moment I turned it on.  I couldn't use the top shelf and had to keep tray there to catch water, which would fill up 2-3 times a day.  They did get a slightly bigger fridge for me when I asked.  The price difference between same size and bigger size fridge was about $120.  But they make it sound now like they replaced a perfectly fine fridge for me at my request.

I don't see any workaround that I can use here, without being resentful the entire time I live here.  It just seems ridiculous to me.

Anyway, please talk to me about this whole bathroom fiasco.  One way or another, this needs to be resolved soon and I am just getting more and more upset about it. 














Bearded Man

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1142
Re: Renter, bathoom issues - need an outside perspective
« Reply #1 on: October 12, 2015, 05:19:25 PM »
Hmmmm....could you fill the bucket with a smaller dish, say with 5-6 Gatorade jugs full of water? As a landlord, I'm not sure they are required to have the faucet working necessarily, but it depends on where you live. It sounds like they are going to fix the faucet issue, it's just going to take a week. What is the issue? Do you need to fill the bucket with water EVERY week? Can you get by with the above method for one week?

Papa bear

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1562
  • Location: Ohio
Re: Renter, bathoom issues - need an outside perspective
« Reply #2 on: October 12, 2015, 05:26:09 PM »
As a landlord, I would have removed the lower faucet completely. Because it is still there and you were using it, however, they should probably come over and fix it per your request.  You may have to wait a few days or a week to get a plumber lined up.

In the grand scheme of life, though, I'd fill up a bucket somewhere else.  Don't stress over minor things. 


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

FiguringItOut

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 775
  • Location: NYC
Re: Renter, bathoom issues - need an outside perspective
« Reply #3 on: October 12, 2015, 06:13:02 PM »
Hmmmm....could you fill the bucket with a smaller dish, say with 5-6 Gatorade jugs full of water? As a landlord, I'm not sure they are required to have the faucet working necessarily, but it depends on where you live. It sounds like they are going to fix the faucet issue, it's just going to take a week. What is the issue? Do you need to fill the bucket with water EVERY week? Can you get by with the above method for one week?

No, of course not every week.  I don't think I was clear.  The one week is not me waiting for them to fix it.  They said it will take ONE WEEK to do the fix, take apart the wall, fix it, put the wall back.  Feels like way too much work and it will create at lot of mess in my apartment.  It does create inconvenience for me with out this faucet. 

As a landlord, I would have removed the lower faucet completely. Because it is still there and you were using it, however, they should probably come over and fix it per your request.  You may have to wait a few days or a week to get a plumber lined up.

In the grand scheme of life, though, I'd fill up a bucket somewhere else.  Don't stress over minor things. 


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

That's the whole point, I don't have anywhere else to fill it, or do a quick wash of a piece of clothing.  I wish I did, then I wouldn't have to bother with this.

They saying the fix will take a week to open the wall, fix, then close the wall.  And I have a feeling it will involve a big chunk of the wall too.

I'm very conflicted.  I don't want to create more problem for them or for me, but I lost an item of a huge convenience.

It also doesn't help that I pay in rent alone more than a lot of people on here spend for the entire month and I feel like I should at least have a working faucet in the shower.  I know, I'm whining right now.


Argyle

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 906
Re: Renter, bathoom issues - need an outside perspective
« Reply #4 on: October 12, 2015, 06:26:04 PM »
I don't see what the problem is with stepping into the tub, filling a bucket with water, and stepping out of the tub again.  Or filling smaller bottles with water, as someone suggested, and pouring them into a bucket.  It is some tiny amount more hassle.  But I think you are making a mountain out of a molehill, in other words you are making a big problem out of a very tiny problem.  And you only have to get around this for a week.  This is not in my opinion what counts as a real problem.

Frankies Girl

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3286
  • Age: 83
  • Location: The laboratory
  • Ghouls Just Wanna Have Funds!
Re: Renter, bathoom issues - need an outside perspective
« Reply #5 on: October 12, 2015, 06:57:08 PM »
I don't think it is unreasonable to have the faucet fixed and usable for you since you rented the apartment with it (supposedly) working. But I would also wonder if you don't have a kitchen sink that is sufficient for washing small stains off clothing and filling buckets - every single apartment I've ever lived in has a large kitchen sink suitable for washing dishes in, so it should be able to handle what you normally use the bathroom faucet for unless you have a really tiny kitchen sink as well.

In any case, I would not think this is enough of an issue legally to demand it done, or break the lease if they don't follow through, so the best you can do is ask and hope they will fix it for you, otherwise just ride out your lease and leave as soon as it is up.

(I'm not a landlord, nor an sort of expert in any of this stuff, but I've lived in well over a dozen apartments and houses in several different states over the years)

And I totally understand how frustrating this whole situation has been on you and you family, but I also sympathize with the poor landlord too - they surely didn't intend for the plumbing job to be so messed up and it's caused extensive damage throughout their property and probably cost them tens of thousands of dollars and having to deal with going after that contractor, finding a contractor that can fix the mess and dealing pissed off tenants besides. It is just a huge ball of suck for all involved.

BlueHouse

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3456
  • Location: WDC
Re: Renter, bathoom issues - need an outside perspective
« Reply #6 on: October 12, 2015, 07:02:56 PM »
I don't think you're being unreasonable at all.  in fact, I think the landlord should count himself lucky that he has a tenant that is willing to pay rent during a time when repairs are occurring to the unit and that he doesn't have to have it fixed while the apartment is vacant. 


lizzzi

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2156
Re: Renter, bathoom issues - need an outside perspective
« Reply #7 on: October 13, 2015, 07:49:55 AM »
I don't think he's being unreasonable. He rented the apartment with that faucet arrangement, and that is what he is paying for. So it should be fixed.

These kinds of issues are what are making me leery about renting from a private landlord in a multi-family house. If I decide to move into a rental, I will be looking for a well-managed apartment complex with professional management.

FiguringItOut

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 775
  • Location: NYC
Re: Renter, bathoom issues - need an outside perspective
« Reply #8 on: October 13, 2015, 08:09:02 AM »
Since you asked, I think you're being unreasonable. As someone else said, I don't see the big deal with having to step into a tub to fill a bucket with water. Unless there's something I'm missing - e.g. a disability that makes this hard for you, or you're so short you need assistance to step into the tub - that sounds like a very petty thing to be upset about.

I wonder whether your understandable and reasonable frustration with the process is being projected onto the faucet issue.

Also wondering why you can't fill a bucket from the kitchen faucet?

Because I don't want to have to climb into the bathtub to fill a bucket of water for the next 4-5 years I am planning to live here.  It's annoying and I should should have a source of water for larger needs that would not inconvenience me every time I need it.  And I do not consider kitchen sink to be suitable to be washing my floor mops in or washing clothing in. 

So I am weighing my level of annoyance and inconvenience with the fact that it will take a week of work to open up the wall, fix the problem, and get the wall closed up again.  Though to be honest, I'm not sure it should take a week and if this is just a ploy to get me to agree not to insist on it. 




boy_bye

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2472
Re: Renter, bathoom issues - need an outside perspective
« Reply #9 on: October 13, 2015, 09:11:57 AM »
Because I don't want to have to climb into the bathtub to fill a bucket of water for the next 4-5 years I am planning to live here.  It's annoying and I should should have a source of water for larger needs that would not inconvenience me every time I need it.  And I do not consider kitchen sink to be suitable to be washing my floor mops in or washing clothing in. 

I think it's reasonable for you to want things that are in your apartment to work. But I don't get this reluctance to wash clothes or clean mops in the kitchen sink? That's the part that seems weird to me. Normally even when I do have a bathtub to use for these kinds of tasks, I still end up using the kitchen sink because it's at the right level to work in.

So I am weighing my level of annoyance and inconvenience with the fact that it will take a week of work to open up the wall, fix the problem, and get the wall closed up again.  Though to be honest, I'm not sure it should take a week and if this is just a ploy to get me to agree not to insist on it.

OK ... well a lot of us are saying it's reasonable to expect it to be fixed, and others are saying suck it up. It's clearly your judgement call, and you seem to have some variables in play that others aren't privvy to or able to understand (like not wanting to use the kitchen sink for cleaning mops or washing clothes). So I'm not sure what kind of feedback you're looking for? You just need to decide whether it's worth the week of major annoyance to avoid possible years of minor annoyance.

former player

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5898
  • Location: Avalon
Re: Renter, bathoom issues - need an outside perspective
« Reply #10 on: October 13, 2015, 09:50:04 AM »
You have asked for the repair and then quibbled about giving the access needed to get it done?  That is just plain annoying, and probably defines complainypants.

Places for people to live in are fairly complicated machines these days and need maintenance/repair on a regular basis.  The alternative is living in increasing degrees of squalour.  Your choice.

FiguringItOut

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 775
  • Location: NYC
Re: Renter, bathoom issues - need an outside perspective
« Reply #11 on: October 13, 2015, 09:55:46 AM »
You have asked for the repair and then quibbled about giving the access needed to get it done?  That is just plain annoying, and probably defines complainypants.

Places for people to live in are fairly complicated machines these days and need maintenance/repair on a regular basis.  The alternative is living in increasing degrees of squalour.  Your choice.

I'm not sure I understand what you mean by this?  I asked and they are not giving me any straight answer on when this will be done.  I have a feeling they are pushing this in hopes that I will get over it and forget that they disconnected my faucet. 

sheepstache

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2419
Re: Renter, bathoom issues - need an outside perspective
« Reply #12 on: October 13, 2015, 01:05:27 PM »
I agree that you deserve a working faucet since you rented an apartment with one. I see what you're saying that the 'it'll take a week' warning might be trying to get you to accept it, but it might not be; the only way you'll know is if you tell them you want to go ahead and have it done. You can go ahead and comment that the fridge needed to be replaced anyway and that you're just trying to maintain the status quo of the apartment if you feel that will help.

I would also look into a hose for the kitchen sink. You can unscrew the little aerator filter bit and there's a threaded bit that you can then attach a small household hose to. (Something like this maybe. http://www.grainger.com/product/6PE14) That would let you fill a bucket on the floor quite easily.


Shinplaster

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1491
  • Location: up in Canada complaining about the weather
Re: Renter, bathoom issues - need an outside perspective
« Reply #13 on: October 13, 2015, 07:52:35 PM »
I'm not sure I'm understanding the issue.  Is your shower one with a faucet a few inches from the bottom pan, and then the normal shower head?   And it's the lower faucet that has been disconnected?

If so, why not just install a hand held shower head - the hoses are usually quite long on those, and reach to the bottom of the shower.  Use that to fill your pails, etc.  These are also great for cleaning the shower.  We have them on all 3 of our showers, and you can find inexpensive ones easily.  Installation takes maybe 3 minutes.

going2ER

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 201
Re: Renter, bathoom issues - need an outside perspective
« Reply #14 on: October 21, 2015, 10:50:12 AM »
If you rented a place with easy access to a water spout then that should continue until the end of the lease. No, it is not the landlords fault that they bypassed the spout, unless he specifically requested it, but you do need to be reasonable about getting the work done. They are likely requesting a week as they will need a plumber and then most likely someone different to fix the drywall and paint. If you plan on staying a number of years, a week of mess is a small price to pay.

Gibbelstein

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 65
Re: Renter, bathoom issues - need an outside perspective
« Reply #15 on: October 22, 2015, 05:31:26 PM »
For convenience/expedience they broke functionality in your home and don't want to fix it.  To me, this would be like the handyman opting to fix a broken window by boarding it up (and then several responders here telling you to "suck it up" and use a different window to look outside).  While that is one possible solution in the short term, not an ideal outcome.   Also, (maybe I misunderstood what you were saying on this one?) but for them to allow a leak to persist for weeks without thoroughly investigating, and then demand that you change your schedule when he chooses to address it is pretty inconsiderate as well.  I agree that water leaks are important to address ASAP, but ASAP would have been in September and this only seems to be an 'emergency' when it comes to you accommodating them.  It seems like maybe the person they chose to do this work isn't prepared/equipped to handle it promptly, but their attempts to save cost on workers isn't your fault either. 

What you are saying doesn't sound unreasonable to me and I'm a little surprised to be in the minority on this.  I am curious how many people weighing in are landlords and might be responding from that perspective?  (No judgement, actually curious.  Social science researcher occupational hazard...)

Good luck getting this resolved in a timely and mutually satisfactory fashion for all three parties!

—Chris

catccc

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1683
  • Location: SE PA
Re: Renter, bathoom issues - need an outside perspective
« Reply #16 on: October 23, 2015, 06:48:28 AM »

No, of course not every week.  I don't think I was clear.  The one week is not me waiting for them to fix it.  They said it will take ONE WEEK to do the fix, take apart the wall, fix it, put the wall back.  Feels like way too much work and it will create at lot of mess in my apartment.  It does create inconvenience for me with out this faucet. 

That's the whole point, I don't have anywhere else to fill it, or do a quick wash of a piece of clothing.  I wish I did, then I wouldn't have to bother with this.

They saying the fix will take a week to open the wall, fix, then close the wall.  And I have a feeling it will involve a big chunk of the wall too.

I'm very conflicted.  I don't want to create more problem for them or for me, but I lost an item of a huge convenience.

It also doesn't help that I pay in rent alone more than a lot of people on here spend for the entire month and I feel like I should at least have a working faucet in the shower.  I know, I'm whining right now.

Okay, I'm in the "you are being unreasonable" camp here with your complaints.  Well, maybe not unreasonable, but you are being whinier than I think you should be. 

If I'm understanding correctly, they will fix it, it just isn't an easy fix.  The fix will be inconvenient for you.  Not fixing it will be inconvenient for you.  Either way, you are inconvenienced.  Hey, guess what, sometimes that happens in life!  You suck it up and do what you can until the situation is resolved.

How much you pay for rent relative to what everyone else spends doesn't matter.  If you felt the rent was unfair, you shouldn't have rented that place.

btw, I'm a renter, and I have been inconvenienced on occasion due to random things, but by and large I think renting is the ultimate convenience.  For instance our refrigerator broke and it happened to be that our landlord couldn't replace it right away.  It kind of sucked because it was the middle of the summer and a lot of food went to waste.  But you know what, instead of complaining, I was just glad I was a renter and didn't need to pay for a new appliance.  Came home from a long weekend away and there was some sort of disgusting plumbing explosion.  DH had to clean up a gross mess, but multiple plumber visits and hundreds of dollars for the visits- arranged and paid for by our landlord.  Btw, both of these two things, plus a broken washer, and a kid's errant bb pellet v. our glass sliding door (glass door, 0, bb, 1) all happened in the 4 years we've been renting the same place from the same landlord.  We are coming up on 5 years and our monthly rent is the same as the day we moved it.  I'm thinking we are easygoing tenants that keep the place in decent shape and pay rent timely, always.  They don't want to mess with that, and neither do we.

You are right to expect it to be fixed, but your attitude and inflexibility about the whole thing isn't really the best response.

Cathy

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1045
Re: Renter, bathoom issues - need an outside perspective
« Reply #17 on: October 23, 2015, 07:15:38 PM »
...if I were the landlord, I would not necessarily want to keep someone challenging to work with in the unit, and would probably be more likely to initiate rapid rent increases, or even decline to renew the lease in the future.

In many states, it is unlawful for landlords take retaliatory actions because the tenant exercised their legal rights in good faith (including making complaints). In some states, the tenant's position does not even need to be legally sound. In California, the tenant does not even need to act in good faith, so long as the tenant acts "lawfully and peaceably". Cal Civ Code § 1942.5(c). Moreover, if the tenant does make certain complaints in good faith before a landlord takes adverse action, it actually creates a presumption that the landlord has engaged in illegal retaliation, subject to various exceptions. Cal Civ Code § 1942.5(a).

The exact rules vary by state. I express no view on the OP's situation or on the correctness of any the propositions contained within any of the replies. This post is not an attempt to describe the law of any state. The sole purpose of this post is to identify a relevant issue that users may not be aware of. I would recommend obtaining legal advice before engaging in possibly unlawful retaliatory actions.
« Last Edit: October 23, 2015, 07:29:36 PM by Cathy »

BlueHouse

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3456
  • Location: WDC
Re: Renter, bathoom issues - need an outside perspective
« Reply #18 on: October 24, 2015, 08:00:05 PM »

What you are saying doesn't sound unreasonable to me and I'm a little surprised to be in the minority on this.  I am curious how many people weighing in are landlords and might be responding from that perspective?  (No judgement, actually curious.  Social science researcher occupational hazard...)

I am a landlord and I stated above that I don't think you're unreasonable.  I do think you should stop explaining the reasons why you want the functionality restored.  Your reasons don't resonate with everyone, and their opinions are influenced by it.  I suggest you just stick with "I want the original functionality restored or an economic adjustment to the rent".  It's not required to explain what you want to do with it.  Imagine if you wanted to rent a 2 bedroom instead of a one-bedroom and the landlord demanded to know what you wanted to do with it and then judge whether they thought it was a worthy reason. 

Pootie22

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 47
  • Location: Los Angeles
Re: Renter, bathoom issues - need an outside perspective
« Reply #19 on: October 26, 2015, 02:58:40 PM »
Here's a $15 solution for you, now you can fill buckets, wash clothes etc. I'm sure you're landlord would be more than happy to refund you the $15 instead of sending another plumber
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002OSMVE4?keywords=shower%20head&qid=1445892594&ref_=sr_1_4&s=kitchen-bath&sr=1-4

Even cheaper though, here is a $5 solution to filling up a bucket of water.
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00002N89V?keywords=dust%20pan&qid=1445892846&ref_=sr_1_9&sr=8-9