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Thread: Stu The Plumber....

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    Tokyo Japan
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    Stu The Plumber....

    We, or I guess I should say, my wife's mother, own the building we live in, there are 8 apartments, four small "Studio" type, and 4 larger 1LDK (which means One bedroom, Living room, Dining room and Kitchen). Not a large place by North American standards, but lots of room for one person or a couple. We have a contract with a larger national real estate company, they take care of finding us tenants and all the legal stuff as well as tax stuff etc. they deal with the tenants not us. The building was built in 2001, and started renting in October of that year, so we are coming up on the building being 9 years old. There is the usual wear and tear, that is to be expected, but somethings are beyond that.

    We had a young couple living in apartment #301, they were professionals, I'm not sure what he did, but the wife is a doctor at the Tokyo Women's University Hospital just up the street.

    When they moved out they did not bother cleaning the place, and and there is some damage, the sink in the bathroom is busted. How the did that exactly is a mystery.

    More later, got to run, sorry.....
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  2. #2
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    Jan 2007
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    810
    .,.,.,
    Last edited by John Bartley; 11-29-2010 at 02:01 PM.

  3. #3
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    I assume you make them pay a security deposit?
    Faith, Hope & Charity

  4. #4
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    The real estate company dropped the ball, the only charged them $350 for cleaning, as I said, they left the place really dirty and they also left some bags of garbage on the veranda

    When you rent an apartment here, you usually have to pay:

    2 months rent to the Real Estate
    1 months rent damage deposit (refundable)
    2 months rent Key Money
    1st month rent
    -------------------
    Total of 6 months rent.

    We have fairly high standards, our real estate does background checks and we have been fortunate and we have only had one really bad tenant in 9 years.

    To get and keep good tenants, we have priced our apartment about 10% below the local average for this area, and we do NOT charge the two months Key Money, and the real estate only charges a one month fee, this adds up to a considerable discount for the tenant.

    Let's say the rent is $1700 a month, which is a fairly reasonable price in a newer building, with the amenities we have in this area.

    The lease is two years, so assuming you get your damage deposit back and you were to move out after two years, you would have paid:

    $3400 to the Real Estate
    $1700 damage deposit (refundable)
    $3400 Key Money
    $40800 24 month rent
    -------------------
    $49300 over two years, which works out to $2055 a month, all in.

    Our desire to keep the places rented, which makes better economic sense over the long run, we come in substantially below that, our rent is only $1500 a month:

    $1500 to the Real Estate
    $1500 damage deposit (refundable)
    $0 Key Money
    $36000 24 month rent
    -------------------
    $39000 over two years, which works out to $1625 a month, all in.

    That is a $430 bucks a month cheaper that what the real estate says the average for our area is, and they would know, they manage thousands of apartments in Tokyo alone.

    Our plan has worked, as the longest we have had an apartment empty is two months, and this is usually in a case like this, the tenant moved out half way through the month and there was some work to be done.

    I know other landlords that insist on the two months key money and full price, they often have apartments sitting empty for six months to a year at a time. I'll also mention that in 9 years, we have not raised our rents, even though everything else has gone up.

    Sorry for the long post, but I thought it might be interesting to see how it is done over here.......
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  5. #5
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    Back to the Plumbing stuff

    Like I said the sink in the bath room is busted.....

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    ..... I figure they dropped something on it, but what really bothers me is that they tried to get away with not telling us, they did not own up to it.

    I think that the real estate company should go after them, but they don't, OK then the real estate company should pony up for the difference in the amount of damage deposit they withheld ($350) and the cost of the sink replacement plus cleaning up the room..... That discussion is on going....

    We got the estimate, there are a few other things, the shower faucet in the bath is leaking, it won't shut off, fair enough, it is 9 years old, so that needs replacing, also there is a vent in the wall where the fridge stands, the one we have is perfectly fine, but is stainless steel and they say a bit hard to open, well you only open it or close it a couple of times a year, close it in the winter and close it if a big typhoon is coming The estimate is also for cleaning up the apartment and getting rid of the garbage.

    Here are the prices.....

    $480 Sink Unit
    $120 Changing the water pipes for the sink
    $420 Shower Faucet
    $40 Change the Vent
    $230 Plumbing (?)
    $80 Getting rid of the garbage on the veranda
    --------------
    $1370

    That does not include the $350 cleaning charge

    The real estate wants us to pay the $1370, now I think that half of that is because their inspector guy who is supposed to inspect the apartment before he signs off on giving back the deposit missed the garbage on the veranda, and the busted sink, but like I said, that is an on going discussion

    Now what is happening is they are saying they cannot rent the apartment in this state, fair enough, so we should pay, to have things fixed, then they will discuss the "Who is to blame" part....... yeah right.

    I went to Super Viva home and I bought a new sink unit $, a new bath room shower faucet, and a new plastic vent that is easy to open and close.

    $210 Sink Unit
    $0 Changing the water pipes for the sink
    $128 Shower Faucet
    $15 Change the Vent
    $0 Plumbing (?)
    $0 Getting rid of the garbage on the veranda
    --------------
    $353

    Yep a whole $1071 cheaper, it took me about on hour to take the old sink unit out, clean the floor, and install the new one, another 30 minutes for the bath room shower faucet, the plastic vent seconds to swap it out.

    I think the Monster-In-Law is feeling like buying me a new set of grinding wheels for my slow speed grinder


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    New sink unit.

    Still, I think she is getting off dead easy, don't you?
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  6. #6
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    Nov 2007
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    Lucky that she has someone like you around Stu. What would it have cost to bring in a plumber or other tradesmen to do the work?
    Daily Thought: SOME PEOPLE ARE LIKE SLINKIES..... NOT REALLY GOOD FOR ANYTHING BUT THEY BRING A SMILE TO YOUR FACE WHEN PUSHED DOWN THE STAIRS...............

  7. #7
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    Jun 2008
    Location
    GTA Ontario Canada
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    Well i saw this before your final post. And my thinking then and is now that the real estate company is liable period. You employed them to do a job. They have failed miserably. In more than one instance from what i can see. They get good loyal business from you and have the benefit of a really reasonable property to rent and manage. Its time they eat the cost to make sure they pull up their socks or you should go looking for a new company. I would be mad with the apparent carelessness. The difference is the costs well i can understand that when they are outsourcing and probably loading the costs with a service/handling charge. But the neglegence on the fundamental job you engage them to handle thats unexcusable without compensation.

    As Mil well from what you have told us about her, I just dont get her. She should be the happiest Mil in the country with a Sil like you. So load up seems it wont make a difference either way. Add that additional One Way support
    cheers

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drew Watson View Post
    Lucky that she has someone like you around Stu. What would it have cost to bring in a plumber or other tradesmen to do the work?
    Thanks Drew, I too think she is lucky, but she does not

    The additional cost would be $1017. Now that is all part of the whole renovation, which is the wall paper stuff too, now that I've fixed everything but the wall paper I'm really curious if they will charge us the same price they quoted for the wall paper with the other stuff too

    The quote on the wall paper for the whole apartment is $1295 which works out to $14 a square meter. As I hate....... HATE doing wall paper, I'm happy to have that done by them, and pay for it!

    Cheers!
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  9. #9
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    Rob my wife and I agree with you, and even the MIL are in agreement

    We will work things out with them one way or the other, I see them eating these charges, but if they are the actual costs to me of putting things right, like $400, it will be an easier swallow.

    The rules have changed too, next time we have a tenant leaving, I will be doing the walk through with the inspection guy.

    The joys of being a landlord.

    Thanks for letting me share this!
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  10. #10
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    Oh yeah, I wanted to add, the couple that damaged the sink and then did not tell us, or anyone, and let it slip right by...?

    Like I said, she is a doctor and he is some sort of business man, combined income (they have to put it in the contract, and that is one thing the real estate company checks) is well over $200,000 a year......

    You would think if you were making that kind of money and you broke something like the sink, you would just fess up to it and have it fixed

    Some people's kids
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

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