Tag Archives: how to get landlords to fix things

Fuzz in the bathroom

21 Jun

Our bathroom is disgusting. There is mold everywhere. We have to keep the window open to let all the steam out when we shower. Everything is always damp in there. Why? because the exhaust fan is broken. Sigh. It’s been broken for..wait for it… SEVEN MONTHS!.

Yeah, I’m serious. 7 months. I let the real estate agent know straight away.

Nothing happened. But it was summer, so it didn’t really matter.

Now it’s winter. It’s cold. Really cold. You may have delusions of Australia being hot all the time (I know I did before I came here!), but it’s not. At the moment, (and it’s not even the hight of winter yet), it gets down to 5 degrees (41 F) at night where I live. Sometimes it’s cold enough to leave frost on the ground.

Last month, I sent an email to the real estate agent in attempt to prompt the fixing of the fan:

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Ok, thanks for that.  Here’s the email:

Hi Taryn,

I would really appreciate it if someone could come and fix the fan in the bathroom. We have to shower and bathe the kids with the window open to avoid excess moisture and it’s getting way too cold for that now. Also, the tap that turns the toilet on and off is leaking a lot and keeps getting worse, and the cupboard in the kitchen needs to be put back on so Daniel doesn’t break our dishes and hurt himself.
The owner came and fixed the toilet. He completely ignored the cupboard issue (we’ve had to use the side of a play pen to block the kitchen from a curious Daniel), and said he’d send someone around about the fan. I’m still waiting.
So last week I sent another email:

Hi Taryn,

Can you please get someone to come and fix the fan in the bathroom? It’s starting to get quite mouldy, we have to shower with the window wide open, which is freezing cold, and nothing ever gets dry in there.
Please call me before someone comes to make sure I am home. We do go out every single day (can’t keep 2 kids cooped up in a little apartment all day!), so arrangements need to be made in advance.
I put in the bit about calling first as the owner has a tendency to just show up when stuff needs fixing. Last time he came to fix the toilet, Hannah was in the bathtub at the time. I was sick and lying on the couch in my bathrobe, unshowered and miserable. Daniel was asleep, and Aaron was watching Hannah. So annoying! Seriously, is a phone call so hard? I didn’t receive a reply at all. Or a phone call. Or snail mail.
So I sent another one. I thought maybe if they could walk a mile in my shoes, it might help a little bit. I put spaces in between all these paragraphs, but for some reason, they are not showing up in the post. So sorry, but this is going to look a little weird:

Hi Taryn,

Just wondering if anyone has been booked to fix the broken exhaust fan in my bathroom.
I know the owners are aware of the issue, since they’ve been here to fix the leaky toilet and told me they’d send someone to look at it. Maybe they just need a bit more reminding….
A little fan in the bathroom may not seem like such a big deal, but it really is:
Walking in the bathroom, I’m hit by the smell first. It’s got that weird it’s-too-damp-in-here-and-stuff-is-probably-growing funk. Ick. No, I lie. First I’m hit with the cold. It’s so cold in there. Since the exhaust fan doesn’t work, we have to keep the window open. All. The. Time. Sigh.
When I have a shower, any part of me that is not being hit with water at any given moment is freezing. It would help, of course, if I could close the shower curtain all the way around the tub, but I can’t.
Daniel is in the bathroom with me. I can’t let him crawl around the bathroom whilst I shower because he has a tendency to shove his chubby baby fingers in Hannah’s potty. Sometimes he even tries to eat it. If I take her potty away, he’s not fussed. He just moves on to the toilet. He pulls the lid up as far as he can and shoves his entire arm in. Sigh.
I strap him in his highchair and give him some toast and toys. I have to leave the shower curtain open far enough so I can play peek-a-boo with him at regular intervals, but shut far enough so that no water sprays out.
“Peek-a-boo!” I peek beyond the curtain. But where is Daniel? I can’t see him. I know he’s there, but I can’t see him through all the darn steam that the broken fan is not sucking up!
I’m sure anyone who walks by thinks I’m a nutbag showering with the window open and saying boo all the time. Whatever.
As I get out of the shower, I immediately get goosebumps. Did I mention it’s ridiculously cold in there?
Everything is wet. The floor is wet from all the steam. The ceiling. The walls. All the stuff in the medicine cabinet. The ceiling has proper droplets on it. I’m kind of afraid they will fall on my head or in my eye or something. There are some little yellowy bits on the ceiling. I think all the moisture is starting to form stalactites. Or maybe stalagmites. Which ever ones are on the ceiling and not the floor.
I open the mirrored cabinet to get my moisturiser and deodorant as I stand there wrapped in a towel, Daniel whinging at me to pick him up, and freezing my butt off.
There is mold growing on the bottles of stuff in the cabinet. Ick. Yes, Ick.
The walls are a grotesque shade of greenish-black. They are supposed to be white. We can scrub them, but the mold just comes back. It’s always damp in there (because the fan doesn’t work!)
In the evening, I give the kids a bath. They whinge as I undress them because it’s so cold in there. I’ve shut the window, but it was open all day, so it’s still freezing. Everything is still wet.
As I fill the bath, Daniel grabs the shower curtain. Like everything, he shoves it in his mouth. I quickly take it away and throw it up over the curtain rod because IT’S COVERED IN MOLD! Despite the fact that I washed it just last week.
While they are bathing, grabs her brush and scratches the once white grout in between the tiles with it. “Mommy, I’m cleaning!” She tells me. Ick. I scrub those tiles every single week, but the mold never comes off.
Despite leaving the window open to get some air in the bathroom, and let the steam out, the damp never goes away. It is always damp in there. 24/7. The steam from the shower adds to the dampness every day.
I’m sure the ceiling and walls are going to get stained.
We lived here last winter when the fan was working. We didn’t have this problem. The fan sucked up all the steam. There wasn’t any mold on the walls. The shower curtain didn’t get any mold. There were no droplets on the ceiling, threatening to freak me out by landing on my head. We didn’t have to freeze every time we had a shower.
We first raised the issue of the the ceiling fan making train-like noises until it kicked the bucket in November. 7 months ago.
As you can see, a little exhaust fan is a big deal, and we would love to have it fixed.
I wanted to include some photos of the bathroom in the email, but Aaron actually cleaned up all the mold over the weekend. Now it looks spick and span. Not that I was going to tell them that. And I didn’t think to take a picture before he cleaned it all up. Sigh.
And wouldn’t you know it, I got a phone call from an electrician the very next day, wanting to work out a time he can come to fix it. The real estate agent doesn’t know I’m a blogger (as far as I know, unless she’s stalked me on google), so I’m pretty sure she just thinks I’m a little crazy after that email. Meh. I don’t care, because the fan is finally getting fixed!!!!
She still didn’t reply to my email at all. Is that rude? I think it’s rude. I mean a quick little “I’m sorry it’s taken so long, I’ve spoken to an electrician and we’re going to get this taken care of asap” would have been nice. Sigh.
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