Finding a new home to rent can be utterly exhausting. I don’t think there is a better feeling than the moment you finally put your feet up after securing, cleaning and, eventually, moving in.
We were over the moon with our beautiful apartment located in a tree-lined street in Elwood, Victoria.
Our new home was a two bedroom (with attached study), one bathroom beautiful old Victorian apartment located in a boutique block of only three apartments. It had been freshly painted, loads of natural sunlight, two balconies, close to public transport and had the old ‘charismatic’ charm and feel we were looking for. We take a lot of pride in where we live and don’t like to move house often, so a lot of thought and consideration goes into the process.
Having been a landlord I was quite vigilant when completing the entry inspection report and noted down every imperfection. I listed two broken windows, a balcony light but no switch, and no power outlets in the study. All good, we thought, nothing significant!
While we were promised a wardrobe would be installed prior to moving in it did not eventuate. After discussions with the property manager we relented and bought our own. Beware! Old homes do not include built in robes.
Within the first few months our apartment, as well as the other two in the block, had to be totally rewired, with still no resolution to the mystery balcony light switch! Not long after, the hot water tap burst whilst showering, and poorly installed kitchen draw knobs continually dropped off – annoying to say the least.
The hot water system was next to go. Whenever the shower or kitchen sink were in use water dripped from the ceiling and we were forced to live with wet floors, ceilings and walls for a month before a new system was installed.
Eight months into our lease and the two broken windows were still not fixed, sending our heating bills sky high and allowing excessive road noise into the apartment. Due to their age the windows cannot be repaired and must be replaced.
In the bathroom, the rust in the cheaply repainted bathtub has resurfaced and our garage roof has started to leak!
Both the property owner and the manager have made reasonable efforts to address our concerns, however, the moral of the story….
For the owner –
When buying an older home or apartment be sure to have the building thoroughly checked by a professional organisation, which will provide a comprehensive written report with approximate costs for essential work required.
For the tenant –
When viewing an old property look beyond the charm and the fresh coat of paint!