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  1. #27
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    greenville , sc
    Posts
    718

    Hmm

    Quote Originally Posted by jt,too View Post
    Hi guys,

    I lease a 900+ sq. ft. duplex apartment in Fort Worth, Texas. I noticed a few weeks ago that my air did not seem to be blowing as strongly as it normally has done the last few years.

    Usually, if the air is running, it blows toward the string hanging down from the ceiling fan in the living room and causes it to stay in motion. That was one indication that it was not blowing as strongly as usual--the string was not moving whilst the air was running. Another indication was that I just did not feel the air blowing as strongly on me sitting in my study or sitting on the sofa in the living room, or even if I held my hands up in the air a few feet from one of the vents. So, I reported the matter to the landlord.

    The landlord's contractor came out and checked the air filter, which was very clean, and the outside unit, which the man said was dirty. It did not look dirty to me, however, and the same contractor had been out just a few weeks before to do an annual servicing of the unit, part of which servicing was supposed to have been to clean it. In any case, the man hosed down the unit, but nothing much came out on the ground other than a couple of leafs. Then, he checked the indoor unit in the ceiling and said it looked fine. He said the "split" was about as good as could be expected. I explained to him why I felt something was amiss, but he insisted the unit was functioning as it should. Then, he left.

    I still felt something was wrong for all of the reasons I listed above. Then, a couple of weeks or so later, I noticed that the air was also not blowing as cold as it usually does. It seemed hotter inside than it should be especially at night after the sun had been down for hours and the unit had been running non-stop since the morning.

    I observed my thermostat and found that if I left the temp set at 76-77, which is where I normally leave it set, by the afternoon, it would be way over 80 inside. I reset the thermostat down to 70 early in the morning to see how cool it would keep the house as the day wore on. By 1:30 p.m. or so, I could feel it becoming hotter in here. By 4:00, with the air having been running non-stop since first thing early in the morning, it was 80 degrees inside. From that point, I watched to see how the indoor temperature might change as the sun went down and the evening wore on.

    I observed that the inside temperature by 10:30 p.m. was still 78-79 even though the outside temperature by 6:39 p.m. had dropped to 95. By 12:06 a.m. the next morning, with the unit having continued to run non-stop all day and all night, the inside temperature had finally dropped to 75-76. I reported my findings to the landlord. He denied that there is anything wrong with the air conditioner. He said I cannot expect the indoor temperature to be more than 20 degrees lower than the outside temperature. I disagreed with him based on my experience over the last three summers. In previous summers, the inside temperature may not have been able to get much lower than 74-75, but it certainly never rose to 80 or more. Also, in the past summers, once the sun went down, I could feel the indoor temperature start to go down long before midnight.

    The upshot is I do not think the air conditioner is running as well as it always has done in the past. The outside unit (Amana) is only three years old. The inside portion is original to the house which I believe is about 20-22 years old. I think it is possible that the indoor portion of the unit may be past the age where it can function well anymore, or perhaps there is a part of the unit that is not functioning as well. I do not know. I just think something is wrong.

    If the unit had not cooled any better than this in years gone by, I might think this is the best it can do, but it has cooled better in years gone by. Last year, for example, by 7:30-8:00 p.m., the unit would begin to cycle on and off again after running constantly all afternoon because the outside temperature would begin to drop. In fact, I would raise the thermostat setting a bit higher after 9 p.m. so that I would not feel chilly watching t.v. on the sofa. Now, I can sit there all evening with the unit running and not feel chilly even at midnight.

    Is there something wrong, or am I just imagining there is a problem?
    Hey there guy. I own rentals myself and I have some advice:

    The landlord may have a good relationship with the contractor aand trust his opinion.
    The landlord may or maynot understand that the tech is a basketcase. Its not uncommon for landlords to pay people to do things they themselves know nothing about.

    I would recommend hiring a tech on your dime and explain to him what's up.
    Then before you make the repairs give the landlord a written copy of the problem and the fix. If he proceeds to give nil then have it fixed and contact your local magistrate and get the proper paperwork filed. Take him to court and recoup your money and your deposit.

    But chances are.... he doesn't know how bad his "guy" is and will help get you cool. Trust me no landlord wantss to lose a tennant.
    catch a man a fish , feed him for a day.
    teach a man to fish , ruin a good business opportunity.

  2. #28
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    greenville , sc
    Posts
    718
    So post #18 alluded me somehow.

    What other repairs have you had made? And why ?

    How much improvement does the landlord/management co do in house?
    catch a man a fish , feed him for a day.
    teach a man to fish , ruin a good business opportunity.

  3. #29
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    21
    Quote Originally Posted by 54regcab View Post
    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
    He is getting a good rental rate from me, and I do not think it would be possible to find anyone anywhere who would take better care of the apartment than I do. I am an excellent tenant. He is just trying to push off his expenses on me.

    My air has been running non-stop since mid morning today. I felt so uncomfortable this afternoon that I took my shirt off. The windows have all been shuttered up all day as always. It is now 10:36 p.m. and the indoor temperature is only down to 78. How can anyone say that by this time of night, with the sun down for hours already and the air never having turned off all afternoon and evening that it should only be 78 in here?? For him to deny that the air conditioner is not working properly is just a bad faith attempt to get me to pay for the repairs. That is all it is... <sigh>

  4. #30
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    21
    Quote Originally Posted by jeremyhall.tech.sc View Post
    Hey there guy. I own rentals myself and I have some advice:

    The landlord may have a good relationship with the contractor aand trust his opinion.
    The landlord may or maynot understand that the tech is a basketcase. Its not uncommon for landlords to pay people to do things they themselves know nothing about.

    I would recommend hiring a tech on your dime and explain to him what's up.
    Then before you make the repairs give the landlord a written copy of the problem and the fix. If he proceeds to give nil then have it fixed and contact your local magistrate and get the proper paperwork filed. Take him to court and recoup your money and your deposit.

    But chances are.... he doesn't know how bad his "guy" is and will help get you cool. Trust me no landlord wantss to lose a tennant.
    Of course that sounds logical, rational, reasonable. However, my landlord does not really care how good of a repair his contractor does so long as the contractor does not charge what the landlord considers to be "too much" for doing it. I know that sounds crazy, but it is true. Okay, let me give you another example that might help you better understand the way this man thinks.

    One of his tenants moved out of her apartment a few months ago and left it unbelievably dirty--I saw it with my own eyes. She had a dog, and the carpet looked as though she had never vacuumed the entire year she lived there. The kitchen and bathroom were disgustingly dirty. I even took pictures for him.

    Anyway, he hired the cheapest housekeeper and the cheapest carpet cleaner he could find. If I had not personally seen the housekeeper go in there, I would have been hard pressed to find evidence that a housekeeper had ever been there and "cleaned" at all. She never even vacuumed the carpet.

    The next day, the carpet cleaner literally just shampooed the dog hair into the carpet. I could not believe it. He made the place smell a lot worse than it did before! I told the landlord I did not feel comfortable showing the apartment for him in that condition, and I urged him to either make those people come back out and do a proper job, or hire a good housekeeper and a good carpet cleaner to do the job so that the apartment could be re-leased as soon as possible and the cash flow restored.

    What did he do? Neither. He paid the housekeeper and the carpet cleaner and left the apartment just as it was. He never even replaced the broken window blinds or the missing window screens. The apartment stayed vacant for nearly three months. Finally, he leased it to some people who I believe are illegal aliens. Now, to my mind, even if it would have cost him as much as $300 or even $400 to have a good housekeeper and a good carpet cleaner clean the apartment, it still would have been more cost effective than letting the apartment sit vacant for nearly three months and then leasing it to someone who was willing to lease a place in that awful condition. What does it say about the new tenants who were willing to move in on top of that filth??

    If I were the landlord, I would be very wary of anyone who wanted to lease a place in that condition! It smelled awful, and you do not even want to know what the kitchen appliances and the bathtub/shower looked like. If those people end up being more of his "bad tenants," then he only has himself to blame. He made no effort to find a quality tenant to lease the apartment.

    Let me give you one more quick example. The fence posts and the fence in the backyard are literally so old and rotted that the fence cannot stand up any more. Last year, at the behest of my next door neighbour, he hired one of his usual contractors to work on the fence. The contractor told me they gave him an excellent quote to replace the posts and the fence. However, he instructed them to replace only the posts that went around my neighbour's yard and to put the rotted out fence back on the new posts. Now, this in and of itself was unbelievable. The fence was literally breaking apart in the men's hands. They could not believe that is what he wanted them to do. They told me they had never had anyone hire them to put in only a few new posts and then to put the rotted out fence back up.

    Anyway, after they finished the job, I walked out there and found that they had moved the fence line over a few inches so that one of the metal posts they cemented into the ground actually blocked my fuse box. I told the landlord about it. I said sooner or later someone will have to get into that fuse box for some reason or another. What are they going to do, dig up the fence post to get to the fuse box? A reputable fence contractor would not have done that, but he never even complained. He still uses the same contractor, and they still do the same shoddy work as his air conditioning contractor, his housekeeper, and his carpet cleaner. I am looking forward to one day seeing what is going to happen when someone has to get into that fuse box for some reason and is unable to open it because of the post cemented in the ground in front of it.

    Anyway, these two examples may give you more of an idea that he knows his contractors are not very good, but he uses them because they are cheap, and he thinks he is saving money by using them. It really is a perverse sort of logic, if you can call it logical at all, but there you have it.

  5. #31
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    Moore, Oklahoma, United States
    Posts
    4,221
    Sounds like it's time to pay the $1,000 and move if he's a real slumlord like you say.

  6. #32
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Fort Worth, TX
    Posts
    11,326
    Your future in that apartment is one where you're faced with unsatisfactory resolutions to any problems that may arise in that unit outside your control, as your OP attests. You may love the place, but the people running it sound like cheapskates. The strain of that contrast will reach a breaking point someday, as it may be already (from your landlord's perspective, anyway). Might be time to look around...moving ain't cheap, but how is not being comfortable day after day working out, combined with a landlord who thinks you're whining scum?
    • 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. #33
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    21
    Quote Originally Posted by 54regcab View Post
    Sounds like it's time to pay the $1,000 and move if he's a real slumlord like you say.
    I hate to use that term, 54regcab, but you are not the first one to make this observation. One of my friends said the same thing about him a long, long time ago before this ever came up....

    Late last night/early this morning before going to bed, I set the thermostat to 73 (I cannot sleep at all if I feel hot). Checking again at 8:35 this morning, the indoor temp is 73-74 and the unit is cycling on and off (it does not stay off for very long, though). WFAA's website says the outdoor temp is 81. It feels perfectly fine in here at the moment. Of course, it is not all that hot outside at the moment, either.

    The landlord sometimes uses a reasonably competent plumber named R (for short) if the cheaper plumber he uses is not available. He has known the landlord a lot longer than I, but he is not especially fond of the landlord. I called R last night to ask his advice on this situation. He said try to get my money back BUT be aware that if I do so, I should be prepared to move.

    He said he has seen the landlord retaliate against other tenants before if they insisted something was wrong. He said he worked on a case for the landlord not all that long ago wherein the landlord's elderly tenant in River Oaks insisted there was a bad odor coming from her bathroom plumbing, and the landlord ended up telling the old lady she needed to "move to an assisted nursing facility or something because she was obviously not happy in his unit." From where I am sitting, that is pretty lousy.

  8. #34
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    21
    Quote Originally Posted by Shophound View Post
    Your future in that apartment is one where you're faced with unsatisfactory resolutions to any problems that may arise in that unit outside your control, as your OP attests. You may love the place, but the people running it sound like cheapskates. The strain of that contrast will reach a breaking point someday, as it may be already (from your landlord's perspective, anyway). Might be time to look around...moving ain't cheap, but how is not being comfortable day after day working out, combined with a landlord who thinks you're whining scum?
    Of course you are correct, Shophound. Anyone would think you knew him! As R said to me last night, the landlord "labels" anyone who stands up to him as a "problem tenant." R said "it is *all* about Steve and no one else."

  9. #35
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    So Cal
    Posts
    3,502
    Time to move.

    You are between a rock & a hard place.
    Only the the owner or the property manager can order work to be performed. You being the tenant can't authorize repairs to a property you don't own.
    Been burned by tenants in the past. Only way we would come out for a tenant is with the owners signed authorization.

  10. #36
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    nebraska
    Posts
    1,629
    Same here precision. Tenants do not have the authority to call a company and a landlord has every right to be po at the tenant and company . Asking for a 30 day notice was the same as an eviction notice IMO.

  11. #37
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    21

    Unhappy Enough is Enough

    Okay, I have had enough. I will be contacting Code next week to see what they can do to help. I have been keeping track of the indoor and outdoor temps for days now. Here are the indoor/outdoor numbers for the last nearly 24 hours. I have kept the air running 24/7, and I have kept the house locked up tight as a drum all day with blinds down and curtains drawn, and this is the best I am getting.

    I am trying to stay up as long as I can tonight to monitor the temperature. This cannot be right....can it??? By 3 a.m. this morning with the unit not having turned off at all all day and night, and with the outside temperature down to 87, it should be a lot cooler than 77 in here, and, it should have been a lot cooler than 77 a lot earlier than 3 a.m., yes??

    August 3rd:

    6:07 a.m. 72/83

    2:09 p.m. 78/101

    4:46 p.m. 80/104

    6:47 p.m. 80/102

    8:26 p.m. 80/99

    11:55 p.m. 78/93

    August 4th:

    1:01 a.m. 78/89

    2:21 a.m. 78/88

    3:07 a.m. 77/87

  12. #38
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    21

    Update

    Quote Originally Posted by jt,too View Post
    Okay, I have had enough. I will be contacting Code next week to see what they can do to help. I have been keeping track of the indoor and outdoor temps for days now. Here are the indoor/outdoor numbers for the last nearly 24 hours. I have kept the air running 24/7, and I have kept the house locked up tight as a drum all day with blinds down and curtains drawn, and this is the best I am getting.

    I am trying to stay up as long as I can tonight to monitor the temperature. This cannot be right....can it??? By 3 a.m. this morning with the unit not having turned off at all all day and night, and with the outside temperature down to 87, it should be a lot cooler than 77 in here, and, it should have been a lot cooler than 77 a lot earlier than 3 a.m., yes??

    August 3rd:

    6:07 a.m. 72/83

    2:09 p.m. 78/101

    4:46 p.m. 80/104

    6:47 p.m. 80/102

    8:26 p.m. 80/99

    11:55 p.m. 78/93

    August 4th:

    1:01 a.m. 78/89

    2:21 a.m. 78/88

    3:07 a.m. 77/87
    Code came out this afternoon at two p.m. The ONLY thing Code will do is place a thermometre in one of the vents to determine what temperature is the air blowing out of the vent. The man said it was 58, which is within Code guidelines.

    I told him that my indoor temp is 79 by late morning, even though the unit has run non-stop since the night before, and that the indoor temp does not even begin to drop below 80 until after midnight. He said he could not make any other determinations about how the unit is performing; however, he said it was more than likely that the house could use additional insulation in the attic. He also said that the single pane glass in my windows was not helping. I said it was more than UNlikely that my landlord would replace any windows. I did email him, however, to ask about adding more insulation to the attic. I rather doubt he will want to do that either. I checked the indoor/outdoor temp at 2:35 this afternoon, and it was 79/101, and that is with the air not turning off since last night.

    I still think the air is not performing as well as it had done the previous three years, but that is my opinion. I am waiting to get my next electric bill to see how it compares with the one from the same time period last year. Does anyone know what it costs to have insulation added to the attic???

    Thanks.

  13. #39
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    SW Wisconsin
    Posts
    4,975
    Well, I gave U ways at posts; #4 #13 #22 #24; to find out if the equipment is way under performing.

    It is not difficult to find a thermometer & humidity gauge with which to log the data for us to analyze.

    If it were me, it would be done in a few New York Minutes...

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