Post settlement found pest infestation issues in unit

Discussion in 'Repairs & Maintenance' started by Kanika, 31st Jan, 2020.

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  1. Kanika

    Kanika Member

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    Purchased an old unit in Lane cove sydney and settlement completed last week. We saw some dead pests in pre settlement inspection to which the agent said that the guys who removed previous owners belongings left the balcony door ajar leading to visible pests inside the unit. We accepted the issue as it was anyways a old worn out carpeted unit and we intended to replace it in future. We requested strata for approval of flooring change from carpet to floorboards. We arranged the quote from flooring guys and they confirmed maximum 2 days of work so we were satisfied we could move in our place by end of current place tenancy notice period. But nightmare started after the strata manager asking money and fullfillment of expensive by laws, first they asked for approx $300 for just requesting a meeting with owners co. for approval and no gaurantee they will approve. We were suggested by our solicitors that the strata manager is troublesome better to move into unit and get changes done later after being familiar to strata meetings. So we hired cleaners for deep cleaning the unit, even after thorough we could see roaches and spiders crawling around and dead stuck under carpets and in corners everywhere. It seemed hazardous to move into unit in this condition so we agreed to pay strata for approval meeting fee. Now they added another by law that if they approve we also need to pay for acoustics consultant report after installation. There is no guidelines on what standards they want to achieve from report. The by law just says, if asked, to provide acoustics consultant report certifying the acoustics properties of floor covering. The flooring we purchasing comes with 6 star acoustics certificate still the strata emphasizes on acoustics consultant report after installation. We spoke to few consultants who charge from 2000 upto Aud 3000 dollars that too can't give any gaurantee that strata will approve their report and not ask to redo the flooring. The flooring itself costing upto 5000 aud which we somehow pushed our budget to afford but acoustic engineer costs is just too much. We are first home buyers and exhausted all our savings already. This is becoming impossible to live peacefully in our own unit. Is there any law or support to protect us from this situation? We happy to do pest control in unit but since pests coming from outside building and cavities in flooring, even pest control guys won't give any gaurantee. I am worried moving into the unit in its current state will affect our health and belongings. What can we do?
     
  2. Rolf Latham

    Rolf Latham Inciteful (sic) Staff Member Business Plus Member

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    Approval requirements for new flooring is pretty common.............

    ta
    rolf
     
  3. Stoffo

    Stoffo Well-Known Member

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    Put the flooring on hold of you can't afford all the associated costs.:(
    (The meeting and by law are standard for such a change. The accoustic report isn't unusual, but is useless if there isn't before and after testing as there is no benchmark to compare to).

    Try speaking to your neighbors about the pests, surely they are having similar pest issue's, then contact strata and request pest control management !;)

    I hope the tenants didn't bury their dog under the floor or fill the curtain rails with prawns :eek:

    @Scott No Mates may have better suggestions

    Next post, please try punctuation and spacing (or it won't get read by most).
     
  4. willair

    willair Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Can you maybe post a photo of the floor area as that may help,plus did the Solicitors warn you about this strata manager prior to settlement or after?..

    As i know nothing about the area,but look at the upside at least the Strata Manager is taking care of business..
     
  5. Scott No Mates

    Scott No Mates Well-Known Member

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    Bugs, get it sprayed & put Raven seals on the doors and seal any gaps where pests are entering the unit (space invader or cover plates if the gaps are large around the sink waste pipe etc).

    Is this a ground floor unit? What is below the unit eg. garages
     
  6. Kanika

    Kanika Member

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    Hi Guys,

    Thank you very much for suggestions.

    In regards to photos - We have not moved into unit yet so I don't have all the floor area photos readily available, I have some photos we took to show pests existing after cleaning and carpet in a very sad condition, which I will upload here. This made it impossible for us to move into our unit without fixing things beforehand.

    In regards to level - it's 2nd floor which is aparantely the top most floor in this set of buildings. There is basement garage under ground floor unit. The strata claims they have done building pest control recently, no exact month or date provided, but definitely we have seen pests coming in the unit from outside even while we were there for a few minutes to get the cleaning done.

    In regards to help I need, it's more on the side of understanding the support we may get in this situation from fair trading or legal system. In any other circumstances where I owned unit from long time and over time it got worn out or filled with pests due to mine or some tenants fault I am happy to accept that as my expense.
    Even if I was able to move into the unit and all these expenses started after 2 months, I could have easily managed. The problem is we just exhausted all our savings in settlement of buying our first home and had took some help from family to cover extra expenses of flooring etc on finding the emergency situation. The pests in unit is not our fault, even previous owner won't take any responsibility for cleaning, removal of pests or atleast give apartment in reasonable move in liveable condition.
    There are holes/cavity in the floor, under carpets as can be seen in pictures so installing new carpets(that won't require strata interference) is also not an option as new carpets may also get infested.
    The only option we left with for no other fault then buying this unit is to replace flooring with hardwood to be able to live in it. I would hope strata would be a little more accommodating in our situation and less strict in adding all the costs or give some easier options. They are informed that we were supposed to move into our unit last week and because of pest infestations we could not move in and only have limited time frame extended to live in the current place we were renting as the REA has found another tenants after we gave notice to vacate after settlement.
    Instead of helping us get the works done quickly in short time the strata manager is responding with threatening replies like - "If you don't provide acoustics report, OC will remove the flooring at your own costs".
    Also when we provided the strata manager report we received from flooring supplier confirming the properties of same flooring used in another apartment. He replied again by saying - "if this is report you think we wanted then you will not receive your flooring approval. You will still be charged for the meeting fees on your levies. I will let the committee know and I am certain they will not approve the application now."
    This sounds like a bullying email, and not at all professional person, with any empathy for our situation or atleast guide us if we don't know things.
     

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  7. Kanika

    Kanika Member

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    Moreover we spoke to several acoustics engineers again today and now some are charging less so may be we can afford now but now the strata manager request is so unique. The acoustics guys say they either do before installation starts with test on a sample or after full installation completes or both(which will cost us double) but the strata wants the test report "just before" installation completes, which no acoustics engineer knows why and how to provide. In strata manager's words -

    "This report can only be obtained from the acoustic underlay consultant after the floor has been installed and is around 10 page report with all the photos during the last stage of install and after the install.
    You book the consultant on the last day before the install is just about to finish so they take photos of all underlay and perform sound test.”

    Is this genuine request?
     
  8. bunkai

    bunkai Well-Known Member

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    Stating the obvious so you can see it from other owners perspective not just your own. Hard floors are noisy and unpleasant for other residents. They can thus breach bylaws - this was all disclosed up front.

    You can either work with them to work through the process or not.

    Otherwise. The photos don't show many holes? Did the insects burrow through the carpet? You could just take up the carpet fill the holes and put down new carpet.

    The relationship between the insects and "holes" has no influence on your argument for timber floors.
     
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  9. Tonibell

    Tonibell Well-Known Member

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    Perhaps just do a like-for-like replacement of the carpets for now.

    Give it a good bombing when empty and seal any gaps.
     
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  10. wylie

    wylie Moderator Staff Member

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    This is what I'd do. I cannot see any holes, but there are gaps between the walls and the timber strips that hold the carpet near the walls. If that is what you are judging to be holes, be assured they aren't holes under the carpet.

    The insects look like they have been killed by the pest treatment that you say the strata organised recently.

    You need to get the carpet cleaned and the insects vacuumed up. Move in now with freshly cleaned carpets or have the carpet replaced now with cheap carpet that you can replace in a few years once you've been given approval for timber.
     
    Last edited: 31st Jan, 2020
  11. Trainee

    Trainee Well-Known Member

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    You didnt see any of this when you inspected the unit before you made an offer?
     
  12. Marg4000

    Marg4000 Well-Known Member

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    Have the place treated for pests. You can never stop more gaining access, but treatment will eradicate any that have nested. The photos you posted are probably insects that have flown in, the big problem is if you find little ones that mean the pests are breeding indoors

    Hardwood floors in units often affect residents in lower floors, so your strata committee is correct to protect everyone’s interests.

    Your best option may be to recarpet in the short term until you can afford to through the correct procedure to get approval for your timber floor.
     
  13. Trainee

    Trainee Well-Known Member

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    Also body corp, and other owners, have no responsibility for you are fhbs or not having enough money to do this according to the rules. If the rules apply to everyone, then they are tough but fair.
     
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  14. Ouga

    Ouga Well-Known Member

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    "Trying is the first step towards failure" Homer
    I expected worse when reading your post!
    It looks like it’s mostly dead pest. Has the unit been empty a while?
    I would do like others have suggested: get the old carpet out, treat for pest, plugging any holes you see (are you referring to the gaps under the carpet near the door?) and recarpet on top.
    If that makes you feel better perhaps you can add an underlay under the carpet? Although I seriously doubt the pest are coming through the carpet - don’t see where they would be coming from really.

    you are going to have a hard time getting hard floor approved and for good reason. The neighbours under you will hear all your steps, every time you drop something etc. So annoying. Hence why they insist on the report etc.

    much easier and cheaper to recarpet, treat, plug any holes and gaps pest might come through.
     
  15. Scott No Mates

    Scott No Mates Well-Known Member

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    It won't look half as bad once you vacuum up the bugs.

    Arrange a cleaner for a 'bond clean' or 'deep clean' or 'end of lease clean'.
     
  16. Kanika

    Kanika Member

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    These pictures were taken right after the deep cleaning was done and we came to inspect the unit. We asked the cleaners about it and they just gave up saying it was much worse when they started, which is true. They said they have cleaned as much was possible for them, the pests are under carpet or stuffed in hard to reach crevices/corners and some moving around live they couldn't clean anymore. So had to agree with them at some point. Anyhow these pictures are limited to what I had handy in my phone and not justifying the worse condition.
    I wouldn't just make my life much tougher living on rental and payimg emi plus rent if unit was habitable.
     
  17. Kanika

    Kanika Member

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    Appreciate all the suggestions and advice. Hopefully every thing will work out fine. Thanks!
     

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