VIC Cracked window, landlord not responding

Discussion in 'Property Management' started by jinx77, 18th Apr, 2020.

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  1. jinx77

    jinx77 Well-Known Member

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    I'm a tenant in a small apartment in Melbourne that has thin and old windows. Two weeks ago, a large crack appeared in the glass door that opens onto the balcony. It isn't broken or shattered (yet). I don't know what caused it, but suspect it's from either a storm, or the venetian blinds knocking against the window when I closed them.

    I've reported the damage to the REA but I haven't heard anything about who is responsible for paying or when it will be fixed. I don't mind paying if it's deemed to be my fault but as a tenant I don't feel comfortable organising repairs without permission from the REA/landlord.

    If the landlord/REA continue to ignore my emails, am I obliged to keep following up the repair requests until it's fixed, or am I allowed to leave it? I'm not bothered by the window but more concerned more about my duties as a tenant. Don't want to lose my bond in the future because I left a problem unresolved.
     
    Last edited: 18th Apr, 2020
  2. Joynz

    Joynz Well-Known Member

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    I think it depends whether it’s normal wear and tear. It is unusual for a window to crack with no reason.

    I imagine it’s more likely that the door was opened too fast or strongly and hit the wall or similar.

    I would suggest setting out the facts and offering to pay for half at least. Or offer to organise and pay for it yourself.

    it’s just a crack, so clearly not an emergency - just follow up with the REA.
     
  3. jinx77

    jinx77 Well-Known Member

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    This isn't possible as the door had not been used. The only way I could have damaged it was when I closed the venetian blinds before bed. They're the thick and heavy type that sometimes knock against the window if the cord is pulled too vigorously.

    Like I said I'm happy to pay if requested, but personally I don't think it's fair because the whole apartment is made from cheap and old materials, so IMO it's unfair to blame tenants when old items start falling apart from normal use. The windows are the paper-thin type glass that fogs up from the inside during winter.
     
    Last edited: 18th Apr, 2020
  4. Joynz

    Joynz Well-Known Member

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    Well it could have been a bird I guess. But in that case I think the cost should be shared.

    Even heavy venetians don’t usually break windows. Would you not have heard the crack?

    And to answer your OP - yes, if you want to resolve it keep reminding.
     
  5. wylie

    wylie Moderator Staff Member

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    I'll put here my recent experience with old, thin glass in windows.

    We have a house with double hung windows and very old, thin glass. Some windows had the start of a crack (just a hairline crack near the timber edge).

    The lifting process made some cracks worse. We replaced what we could (with scaffolding outside, due to having to add fall-safe screens on the inside to pass certification).

    Two double hung windows were left with cracks due to scaffold having to be removed to allow earthworks, so we taped those up until we could get back to them.

    Tenants did knock one, which smashed, and hubby removed architraves, removed the sash and took it to a glazier, put it all back together. Two remain taped up until scaffold can go back.

    I would not ask a tenant to pay for this, especially when I know the glass is so brittle and thin. As a tenant, I would not want to pay for it either. Putting down a blind should not cause a window to break, but thin, brittle old glass is an accident waiting to happen.

    If you were my tenant, I'd take this opportunity to replace the glass with thicker glass. Both doors. Or replace one and get clear film over the other. We've had that done on full glass doors that are 60s made, and one was knocked by a tenant.

    I was more concerned that the glass from these old doors could have cut someone very badly.

    Edit: Keep annoying the property manager, tape it up if you can to avoid a whole sheet of glass falling in. Take photos.
     
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  6. jinx77

    jinx77 Well-Known Member

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    If it was caused by a hairline crack, would a glazier be able to diagnose that if/when they come to fix it? Do you know what I can tape it up with? I'm scared to touch it in case I make it worse.
     
  7. wylie

    wylie Moderator Staff Member

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    Can you put up a photo?

    We've taped ours up with thick, wide sticky tape. It is enough to keep it from dropping out. Our windows are double hung, no counterweights, so just wrangling them up and down would put an already cracked pane at risk of the hairline crack spreading.
     
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  8. Antoni0

    Antoni0 Well-Known Member

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    If you reported it to the PM and you believe that you truly haven't caused it there isn't much more you can do. If you're really worried about the glass falling out and causing other issues, you can run some masking tape in two diagonals across the window to secure the glass from falling out. I would take a photo of the window before taping it up also.
     
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  9. jinx77

    jinx77 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for helping, wylie! Here’s a pic, it’s about 40cm long.
     

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  10. Owlet

    Owlet Well-Known Member

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    I would place tape over the crack to prevent any harm to yourself. I would use the blinds carefully in the meantime and wait for the PM to get back to you.
    The PM may have contacted the owner and is waiting for instructions and or the owner has responded but not in time for the PM to get back to you before the weekend. They may have looked at your photo and deemed it can wait until next week to fix. Be patient.
    If you are not responsible for the crack then you don’t pay. If you are and it’s a combo of your fault plus thin glass then offer to pay half. (If it was your own house you would be paying 100%)
     
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  11. Owlet

    Owlet Well-Known Member

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    At some point you inspected this property and made a decision to live in it. Your decisions are your responsibility.
     
  12. thatbum

    thatbum Well-Known Member

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    What do you mean by this? Because it doesn't mean the tenant is responsible for the damage.
     
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  13. Owlet

    Owlet Well-Known Member

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    I am not saying the tenant is responsible for the window damage.

    He made made a comment earlier about the poor quality of the apartment - this I thought would have been obvious when he inspected the apartment - yet he still decided to rent it.
     
  14. thatbum

    thatbum Well-Known Member

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    Oh. The original comment was actually in regards to it not being fair if he/she was held responsible for the damage.
     
  15. Owlet

    Owlet Well-Known Member

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    Yes I have re-read that post and you are correct.
     
  16. Scott No Mates

    Scott No Mates Well-Known Member

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    I've seen plenty of windows with no physical cause (tenant) having caused the window to break - eg fixed pane but poor maintenance of external putty, rotted sash etc.

    Being a strata property, the action to replace may lie with the OC/strata rather than the PM/owner.
     
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  17. Rolf Latham

    Rolf Latham Inciteful (sic) Staff Member Business Plus Member

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    I had a 1200 x 1200 pool panel recently let go at an Air bnb, terrible and dangerous mess. 75 bucks to replace..........but the risk of getting cut when it let go ouch


    Toughened glass so sometimes happens, same as with car side windows which is like my films'

    Old old Glass isnt just thin, its also fluid which means over time its gets thinner at the top while thicker at the bottom, and structural self failure will usually come from the top half.

    ta
    rolf
     
  18. Melbourne_guy

    Melbourne_guy Well-Known Member

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    Claim hardship and don't pay rent. They'll call you back immediately :D
     
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  19. HUGH72

    HUGH72 Well-Known Member

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    I would expect a LL to approve this maintenance request immediately while still confirming the reason for the damage. It could be the case that the request hasn’t been forwarded on or missed.

    I had one of these where a living room window was damaged on xx date, it was nearly 2 weeks before I received correspondence from the PM requesting repairs. I replied fairly promptly but heard nothing and didn’t see an invoice on the end of month statement. It hadn’t been actioned so by the time the window was eventually replaced about 6 weeks had passed.

    I would follow your emails up with a phone call.
     
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  20. TMNT

    TMNT Well-Known Member

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    at the end of the day the landlord is responsible for all wear and tear, and unexplained window breakages, even if a passerby throws a brick, and you file a police report

    unless it can be proven that you did it or you admit to it

    ethically, its up to you

    edit: i had a window that the PM said looked like it was broken from the inside, but either the PM or tenant filed a police report and said it was a passerby, and I had no choice to fix it at my cost