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  1. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Tallahassee, FL
    Posts
    6,050
    The mods will edit out the prices for you. It happens all the time.

    I would hate to have your electric bill.

    I have a feeling that you would come out ahead over the utilities even if it was more to fix performance problem

  2. #15
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    21
    Quote Originally Posted by SBKold View Post
    The mods will edit out the prices for you. It happens all the time.

    I would hate to have your electric bill.

    I have a feeling that you would come out ahead over the utilities even if it was more to fix performance problem
    I know...my usual bill this time of the year is around $150 per month (am I allowed to say that?), and I am afraid the next one is going to be at least $250.

    I am gathering what evidence I can do right now. Either the landlord gets a reputable contractor out to figure out what is going on, or I am going to have to do so and add the cost to the amount I will have to sue him for this autumn. This is ridiculous! I think he is just trying to shift his maintenance costs over to me. He insists that the unit is functioning properly.... It is 4:00 p.m. now and 79-80 in here. The air has run non-stop since this morning. By 5 and 6 today, it will be over 80. It will not drop back down to 75 until after midnight. I shudder to think what it will be in here in the afternoons next month if this is not resolved before then!

  3. #16
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Western PA
    Posts
    25,693

  4. #17
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    21
    Quote Originally Posted by skippedover View Post
    Having the equipment is only step 1. Knowing how to use it is step 2. Interpreting the information provided is the most complex issue and are steps 3 through 30. A typical HVAC course runs full time from 9-months to 24-months and then a potential tech needs about 1-year with a good company or 3-5 years with an average company to become competent enough to actually go into the field and disagnose problems. I think the message Udarell was offering was leaning toward having a competent tech on scene and you just having a list of useful readings, not you actually doing the work yourself.
    Oh, believe me, skippedover, I absolutely have no plan to try to repair anything myself. I realise that this is far, far, far beyond my skill set. I am just trying to collect data to support my case because I have the feeling this is going to end up in court with me suing him to try to recoup the repair costs. I hate for that to happen. I hope he comes to his senses before it gets to that point, but based on my experience with him, he will not do.

    This man steadfastly believes that the cheapest contractor he can get for any sort of job is the best thing he can do, and even if they do a crumby job, he accepts it and pays them because he knows that in future, he will not want to pay the reputable contractors more to do a proper job. True, it is a perverse sort of logic, but that is how his mind works. Also, if he ever sees a chance whereby he can shift any of his costs/expenses on to anyone else, he leaps on it like a duck on a June bug. I think that is what he is trying to do in this case.

    I have tried to reason with him. I told him the last time that whereas a reputable contractor may charge slightly more than the contractor he uses, the reputable contractor comes once, correctly diagnoses and fixes the problem, and charges one fee. His contractor, on the other hand, may charge a bit less, but he comes back again and again and again like a vampire bat, and in the end his contractor costs the landlord a lot more blood, errr money, than the reputable contractor would do. It is like talking to a brick wall, though. The landlord just will not see sense.

  5. #18
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    21

    What do you make of this?

    Below is the email message I sent to my landlord yesterday, and his replay today. As far as I am concerned, this is solely an issue of whether or not there is a problem with the air conditioner. I feel his reply to me is a thinly veiled threat. What do you guys think?

    My email to him:

    <Sent: Sunday, July 22, 2012 2:07 AM
    Subject: Sunday, 22 July 12, 2:04 a.m.

    Air has not cut off once. It is now only 78 degrees inside. Do you still maintain that even though the air has been running non-stop, and even though the sun went down a good 6 hours or more ago, the coolest it should be in here is 78 degrees at 2:04 a.m.?

    I am not an air conditioning expert, but prima facie that does not seem right to me, and in years gone by, it was not this hot inside at this late hour after running the air non-stop.

    jt>

    His reply to me this afternoon:

    <It's apparent that this property does not meet your expectations since we have made numerous repairs on your behalf, to which you are still not gratefull and constantly complain about something. Therefore, I think the best thing for you to do is provide me with a 30 day notice and you move to a more suitable location of your chosing. Once you are completely vacated from the property then I will refund your security deposit. Maybe that way you can find happiness elsewhere since it obviously alludes you in your current surroundings. The owner nor I care to deal with your constant moaning about trivial matters. Please let me know when you plan to be out of the property.

    Steve>

  6. #19
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Fort Worth, TX
    Posts
    11,348
    I would move, and let the next tenant gripe about poor a/c. As it is, sounds like you're dealing with a property manager vs. the owner of the unit.

    Personally I try to give my business to people who appreciate it, and try to make reasonable efforts to make things right if something is wrong. If this does not happen I move on. A landlord/tenant is a business relationship, in spite of the fact that you live inside their place of business.

    In your case I do not think a desire to be comfortable in your quarters is unreasonable, but you may have inadvertently ruffled landlord/owner feathers by calling out a contractor on your own. How they choose to manage their property is not much you can do about, other than vote with your feet.
    • Electricity makes refrigeration happen.
    • Refrigeration makes the HVAC psychrometric process happen.
    • HVAC pyschrometrics is what makes indoor human comfort happen...IF the ducts AND the building envelope cooperate.


    A building is NOT beautiful unless it is also comfortable.

  7. #20
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    nebraska
    Posts
    1,629
    LOL nothing thinly veiled about that. It's packing time.

  8. #21
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    21
    Quote Originally Posted by martyinlincoln View Post
    LOL nothing thinly veiled about that. It's packing time.
    What I meant by a veiled threat is that I believe he will try to retaliate against me next year at lease renewal time because I asked for repairs to be done properly. That is against the law in every state I know of. I am glad you think he is so plain because if it is plain to you, it will be plain to a jury, too. There are statutory penalties for retaliating against a tenant for asking for repairs.

    It cost me over $1,000 to move here a few years ago, and I have always told everyone I know how much I like my place. I am not interested in moving. It has taken me several years to fix up this place, and the location is good for me. The cost to move, not to mention the enormous labour involved, does not make moving a first choice for me. If I stumbled upon something much better, I would of course seize the opportunity, but I would not move over this, and he has no right to even say these things to me. My responsibilities here are to pay my bills and take care of my apartment, and I do so with alacrity. His responsibility is to make sure that maintenance is handled in a timely manner by competent contractors. The place is not the problem. The problem is the landlord's unwillingness to hire quality contractors to do maintenance.

    Oh, speaking of quality contractors, yesterday I spoke to the lady at the contractor's office I paid to repair the fan relay switch a few weeks ago. I had not really called about my current problem but to ask about their special on their annual servicing. I have a friend who did not have that done and really needs to do. The lady said their special ended May 31st, but she would honour it anyway. Well, during the course of the conversation, I mentioned that there have been no problems with the fan relay switch since they repaired it, but I was experiencing another problem and was monitoring the situation. This made her recall the landlord (the owner's agent who manages the property), and she became very, very upset!

    She said she never wanted to deal with him ever again, and she said if she were ever forced to deal with him ever again, and I quote: "I will have to hurt him!" <LOL> I do not know what he said to her that day, but whatever it was, I am sure it was as rude as the things he has said to me in the past. To make matters worse, he sent them a letter saying the same things! There was no reason at all to treat this contractor this way. Not only had they done nothing wrong, but they had helped him out many times in the past. I paid them. They had not tried to charge him a penny for anything. Just shows what type of person he is to treat them this way. They do not want to do business with him ever again. I do not blame them.

  9. #22
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    SW Wisconsin
    Posts
    4,989
    Well now, - I don't believe it's worth trying to do anything in respect to proving poor performance.

    If you do take temperatures you would need a 'Notary Public' or an attorney to witness the temps, humidity, etc., & sign the document so it carries some legal weight; IMO not worth messing with.

    Otherwise except for us PROs wanting to know its performance, - it won't carry any legal weight or force; & you really can't force them to improve the performance of an A/C (if it gets the temp to 80-F) even if you can prove it needs improvement.

    I doubt there is anything in the lease agreement that would help you in this matter; therefore, I'd get out of there ASAP...Good Luck.
    Last edited by udarrell; 07-23-2012 at 06:27 PM. Reason: (if it gets the temp to 80-F)

  10. #23
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    21
    Quote Originally Posted by udarrell View Post
    Well now, - I don't believe it's worth trying to do anything in respect to proving poor performance.

    If you do take temperatures you would need a 'Notary Public' or an attorney to witness the temps, humidity, etc., & sign the document so it carries some legal weight; IMO not worth messing with.

    Otherwise except for us PROs wanting to know its performance, - it won't carry any legal weight or force; & you really can't force them to improve the performance of an A/C even if you can prove it needs improvement.

    I doubt there is anything in the lease agreement that would help you in this matter; therefore, I'd get out of there ASAP...Good Luck.
    Thanks very much. Actually, the Code department can investigate. I am not sure what they can do if the air conditioner is just performing poorly. The important thing here is that a landlord cannot retaliate against a tenant because the tenant asked for repairs. If a jury thinks he has retaliated, under Texas law, he will liable for paying for all of my moving expenses, court costs, and a statutory penalty of one month's rent for each act of retaliation. I believe he will retaliate. I think the communications I have had with him so far make this pretty darn clear, just as another poster has said. The really sad and illogical thing is that he has had an excellent tenant in me for several years. I always pay my bills on time and in full. I am very clean and very quiet, and in his own words to the owner, I keep my apartment "in immaculate condition." I have even added some improvements to the property. He displays no sense of appreciation for what anyone does, though, which is why the good contractor is so upset with him, as they have gone out of their way to be helpful to him, as have I. He has frequently complained to me about his tenants who do not pay their rent on time, and/or who tear up the property, and/or who move out and leave the property in appalling condition, and/or who lie to him, etc., etc. One would think that he would be grateful to have a good tenant and would treat a good tenant with courtesy and respect and get the tenant's maintenance done, but he isn't and doesn't, and he does not seem able to see that treating a good tenant this way is acting against his own best interests. The good contractor told me this is because he is "a dumb ass." <LOL!>

  11. #24
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    SW Wisconsin
    Posts
    4,989
    Quote Originally Posted by jt,too View Post
    Thanks very much. Actually, the Code department can investigate. I am not sure what they can do if the air conditioner is just performing poorly.

    The important thing here is that a landlord cannot retaliate against a tenant because the tenant asked for repairs. If a jury thinks he has retaliated, under Texas law, he will be liable for paying for all of my moving expenses, court costs, and a statutory penalty of one month's rent for each act of retaliation.

    I believe he will retaliate. I think the communications I have had with him so far make this pretty darn clear, just as another poster has said. The really sad part is that he has had an excellent tenant in me. I always pay my bills on time and in full. I am very clean and very quiet, and in his own words to the owner, I keep my apartment "in immaculate condition." I have even added some improvements to the property. He displays no sense of appreciation for what anyone does, though, which is why the good contractor is so upset with him, as they have gone out of their way to be helpful to him, as have I.
    Well, considering Texas law I'd get at least a Notary Public to witness you taking at least all the data I requested; it would be even better if you had that good HVAC contractor take all that data plus super heat & subcooling plus the temperature of the compressor discharge line if they can get it.

    Oh, speaking of quality contractors, yesterday I spoke to the lady at the contractor's office I paid to repair the fan relay switch a few weeks ago. I had not really called about my current problem but to ask about their special on their annual servicing. I have a friend who did not have that done and really needs to do.

    The lady said their special ended May 31st, but she would honor it anyway. Well, during the course of the conversation, I mentioned that there have been no problems with the fan relay switch since they repaired it, but I was experiencing another problem and was monitoring the situation. This made her recall the landlord (the owner's agent who manages the property), and she became very, very upset!

    She said she never wanted to deal with him ever again, and she said if she were ever forced to deal with him ever again, and I quote: "I will have to hurt him!" <LOL>
    If they are as T'd-off as U say, they might do it for a small fee or, no fee...Their documentation with an added Notary Witness should carry legal force...

    I for one will help with indicating what the collected data means regarding system performance to you &/or your Tech.

    The duct system & filter areas should be measured, duct leakage checked, plus airflow CFM.

    All these decisions are entirely up to you; however, if you do it do it RIGHT...

  12. #25
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    21
    Thanks, udarrell, I am still tracking and will let you know. : )

  13. #26
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    Moore, Oklahoma, United States
    Posts
    4,302
    Since you like your place and don't want to spend $1,000 to move, you might be better off just paying to have the repairs done out of pocket. Lesser of 2 evils if you will.. It's possible your landlord is charging you below market rate for the property and doesn't want to put any money in it. If he does the repairs he will start charging market rate, which would be hard to prove as retaliation. He would just need to show comps of similar properties renting for what the new rate he's charging you would be.

    That being said I once was in a rental that had bad carpet, but didn't realize it until the house was closed up and the smell built up. I offered to remove the 20yr old carpet myself at zero cost to the owner. The house had hardwood floors underneath, and I was fine with those. However, the owner refused and I ended up moving out. 2 weeks later I saw the old carpet sitting at the end of the driveway, I guess the owner finally got it through his skull it needed to go...

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