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PMs' maintenance nightmares exposed

18 February 2015 Elyse Perrau

Last week, Residential Property Manager asked PMs to divulge the most frustrating maintenance experience they have dealt with. Drama and disaster follow…

Lurking lice

Commenting on the RPM Facebook page, Melanie Attard shared her harrowing maintenance experience involving unfounded bird lice.

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[It] would have to be the worst case I have ever dealt with - alleged bird lice. [We had] a lot of reports and accurate notes and the tribunal was in our favour. The tenant claimed for stress, medical supplies, treatment and replacement costs for furniture. In my almost-10 years in the industry, this defiantly was an eye opener on how important it is to document everything! It wasn't an easy task to prove 'bird lice', which isn't visible to the eye, didn't exist in the home!quote marks


Tara Lea De Filippis also was involved in a similar maintenance problem featuring lice.

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Tenants have been in the property almost seven months. They have recently placed a large rug in the unit and all of a sudden have 'carpet lice'. I have had the carpets professionally cleaned, pest sprayed etc (at the owners cost) but apparently according to their doctor they are still present. The tenant is now arguing to have all carpets removed and replaced with floating timber floor as well as all mattresses professionally cleaned or replaced at owners cost.quote marks

Sky-high repair bill

Matt Langers commented this catastrophic series of events, which happened two years ago when he managed a property in Knightsbridge, United Kingdom.

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Roof works had taken place just before Christmas and I went on holidays back to Australia. The workers left debris in the gutter and of course there was two weeks of rain. Worst thing was the tenants were away so water was cascading. The ceiling caved in to the master bedroom and the grand reception room on the floor below, ruining an antique parquet floor, antique furniture, rugs and paintings that went back generations through the family. The Damage bill topped 150,000 GBP (insured thankfully) plus six months of my time to get everything back to normal, having to escort tradespeople etc...total nightmare! And of course there was compensation and the landlord and tenant not liking each other in the first place made things a real treat.quote marks

No relief in sight

Britta Jordan shared a current air-conditioner repair job that fails to be resolved.

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Tradesman has been there maybe a dozen times and fixed something new each time. Still not working - four months now. The manufacturer themselves are now sending the parts for free as it seems everything in the world is wrong with this unit...quote marks

Pink fluffy slippers to the rescue

Grace Van Kalken recalled a maintenance incident she had to deal with slightly under-dressed.

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Turned up to a property at 7pm after a phone call from our plumber to say I needed to see what he was talking about. I just happened to already be in the car but in my PJs. Turned up to the house, with the plumber and tenant there, to look under the house to find all the burst hot water pipes that were creating steam that went up the walls and into the ceiling creating leaks and mould. The house was deemed inhabitable. [Both the] tenant and tradie don't let me forget my pink fluffy slippers I had on.quote marks

To see the conversation, check out the Facebook post below.


Each week, RPM asks our readership the big questions that the property management industry faces. Respondents will appear in an editorial lead story – so share your opinion and get noticed!

[Related: Trickster tenants’ best excuses for late rent]

PMs' maintenance nightmares exposed
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