Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Telling It Like It Is

Today's topic? The 'New Apartment Living Experience'.

You know me..... I like to tell you all the gory details, whether it be about the building experience, my family or the temporary 'behind the scenes A-M rental experience'.

Well, as you know, we escaped the previous 'filthy rental' contract, by the skin of our teeth (the one where their condition report significantly varied with ours and we couldn't reach an agreement on the 'magnitude of filth') .. well here... now.... in our little riverside paradise, we are up to our ears in sewerage.. yes sewerage folks. Cue nervous disbelieving laughter.

Our apartment is at 'the end of the line', so to speak, in a building 8 stories high (ground floor apartment, in the corner... literally the end of the line). The building is super new and still under construction (they're finishing the penthouse as we speak) so problems are still being 'ironed out'... and it's all happening at Casa A-M. Yes, I got the frantic phone call from hubby last night (as I'm out of town). "It's happened again, what do I do? "Well darling, first you build a dam with whatever towels you can lay your hands on to prevent the RAW SEWERAGE, that is flowing up out of all the drains on the lower floor and KITCHEN SINK, reaching the carpet... and our fabric covered furniture. Open the doors. Move the 'good chairs' out of 'soon to be actioning' tradesmen's way. Keep the kids away.... send them upstairs to do some origami or something. Call the site supervisor and wait for the plumber, who will have to come from somewhere over the other side of town and who will be at least an hour or two.... guaranteed.... oh and throw the towels out when it's all finished... and wear gloves".

This is the fourth!!!! time this has happened. Oh the sound of that initial gurgle in the toilet and sinks strikes fear in our souls now. Last 'explosion', hubby was away and I was giving him a blow by blow description of the stench and my boy's melodramatics and their theatrical mock choking episodes (while he was eating out with clients in a fine dining establishment). My boys thought it was all so terribly exciting and ended up perched on the kitchen bench watching the plumber do his stuff like it was a side show (complete with nibbles... I don't know how they could eat.... it totally put me off my wine that night). Yes and it always happens late at night, when every tradesperson has gone home for the day... so bedtime, after the supervisor and the plumber and the professional cleaners have left, is approximately 2am.

We have been super nice about the whole thing.. hey, I have just survived a whole year of dramas!!... but next time it happens... hot line to the health department I'm afraid. "It's definitely fixed now" is wearing a bit thin.. and the stench is really not dissipating between 'episodes'. I'm paying good money for this temporary abode and my fading memories of my 25 year old science degree tell me it's not going to be long before someone in my little family injests some 'Clostridium Perfringens' by accident and gets really sick. Oh, please make me not have to move again! I'm still getting over the last move.

So there you have it.. the latest dramas. I solemnly promise that there will never be a dull moment over at this here blog.

Until tomorrow's drama!!!!....


  1. That is a truly frightening, awful story. I hope you get it sorted out. I'd be like your husband - WHAT DO I DO???

  2. Four times: what have they offered you in recompense?
    Disinfection? A rent moratorium? An absorbent 'living roof' over the drum outside your window?

    Might be time to twist the screws - bugger being nice!

  3. My darling A-M, that is very stressful! And it really is a health issue, you're right. I am stunned that you've had to endure this FOUR times!! You are destined to be a shining light in that industry..mark it all down to 'useful' experience..Hope it doesn't happen again..Rachaelxx

  4. yikes...so sorry this is happening to you guys...yuck. Hope they do get it sorted out! -quickly!

  5. Truly A-M, I would contact the Health Dept anyhow & copy the appropriate management of your block. I wouldn't wait for another episode.....one occurrence, I understand, but the 4th time - not good enough IMO, considering children are involved!!
    Something seriously wrong in that development which has not been addressed, if this happens over & over.
    Good luck !

  6. Gross! Asked to be put up in the new penthouse, immediately! MB

  7. It may not be dull, but I'm sure you can do without that kind of excitement. Poor you, maybe you can negotiate a nice rent reduction for all the pain and suffering - honestly, you can't be expected to put up with this sort of thing constantly. Fingers crossed they fix the problem once and for all. K xx

  8. oh no oh no oh no.......(unhelpful, vicarious hysteria unleashed). POOR YOU.

  9. man, that's awful. stinking engineers (sorry old time design/engineering feudal throw backs coming out), literally.

    hope they iron it out soon, and triple dry clean everything else!

  10. Sounds like face masks are in order too.
    Lived through the same scene once when the septic packed it in and hubby was interstate...of course.
    The smell is frightful and disgusting, I'm sending loads of sympathy your way.
    I think I would be jumping up and down now, four episodes is not good!
    Is management helping with the cleanup?

  11. Oh A-M and hubby,

    What a nightmare you are having from rental to rental things just can't go right. Fingers crossed that it truly is "definitely fixed now".

    Thinking of you!

  12. I'd be praying for every tenant in the Apartment to be struck down with severe constipation!
    Good grief,can't people (tradies) just do their job properly the first time and get it fixed??? I'm sure it can't be rocket science.
    Murphy's law does dictate that plumbing catastrophes will only occur after hours.
    Hoping you get this resolved A-M.

  13. Oh yes, management are sending in the cleaners today. I'm out of town and have given my lads strict instructions not to touch anything in the vicinity of the downstairs plumbing until I get back to do the 'A-M White Glove Domestos Clean'! I hope they're replacing the carpet... hubby says it is vile, as you can see by his comment above! Hi darling! Wish you were here and not there! A-M xx

  14. Dear AM and the Husband that AM Built

    1. do not pay any rent. They are not entitled to it and any residential tenancies lawyer will tell you that. Having to mop up sewerage does not really amount to quiet enjoyment.

    2. I would be concerned about whether it will ever actually be fixed. That sounds like a major problem not to mention health risk.

    3. You may need to move out, Sorry but I speak the truth.

    Every place I ever rented had issues like this. It is actually one of the reasons I bought before we could really really afford to I just couldn't take it any more. Our issues were: a building site overhead, garbage trucks each morning at 4 am in laneway outside front door, junkies in the laneway and music from the magician who lived next to us. !


  15. Oh that sounds terrible! I am with Jane, see what your options are. That is just not on and I definitely would not be paying rent or at least asking for some compensation. Is there another unit in this facility that you can relocate to? You poor thing, hope it sorts out soon.

  16. I put down the chocolate biscuit I was eating as your sorry tale unfolded. How horrendous... renting is such a picnic (sorry shouldn't have mentioned food again).

    We had a slow flowing sewer into the street from our rental in Paddo in Sydney and I was very 'nice' about. Time to stop the 'nice'....! There is a bright side. You haven't bought the place... Have I cheered you up at all? No...

    A x

  17. Good grief. Sewage is the end of the line for me, sorry. I know you can't face another move, but...

  18. Oh, A-M. Ewww! I would definitely be witholding rental payments! Good luck with the clean up. How is it that people get away with such incompetence!

  19. Oh no! That sounds terrible! Cant believe you are still being nice after the 4th time, time to get tough :) Had a little giggle when I visulised your boys watching the drama with nibblies. Isnt it funny how young boys find "grossness" so exciting and fascinating?! Hope it is all sorted out soon for you xx

  20. We had this happen to us in our apartment in Macau - and it took 2 weeks to fix as the management company and owner argued over who should fix it......eventually the owner fixed it and oh told us "do not flush toilet paper down the toilet" Seriously - I was told to keep a basket in the bathrooms.....I did ask our real estate agent to repeat this to my husband as he didn't believe me! We're moving OUT in 4 weeks!

    I feel for you AM..

  21. eeewwwwwwwww. Time to pull out the Big Guns methinks.

    By the way I love that THTAMBuilt is now commenting.


  22. A-M, all of that would be enough to break up a rental contract. Hope you will find the energy to move, as this kind of problem will always happen.

  23. Oh dear, how I sympathise because I've been there, done that, got the tee shirt. Our house: Septic tank, soakaway and borehole water - major problems with all three (including my family drinking water where a rodent had been decomposing at the bottom of a collapsed bore). I called it 'frontier living'.

    I'm so sorry about this. It sounds as though the system isn't coping once residents return at night and there is greater use of 'the facilities'. As fiddling with your pipes clearly isn't working, maybe they should be looking outside, where it all drains away from the property. What's the betting some brainiac builder has at some point disposed of something they shouldn't (::cough:: cement) down the drain? Anyway, I'm not the plumber...

    This is such a shame because it's spoiling your enjoyment of what looks and sounds like a lovely apartment in a lovely area. Hope it's sorted ~ *properly* ~ soon.

  24. My sneaking suspicion is that it is something like cement in a drain. The day we moved in they had to take apart all the plumbing in the corridor outside our apartment as my boy's first shower ended in disaster... the water just did not go down the plug hole. Turns out it was full of tiling grout. They had to cut holes in the ceiling to get to the s bend to remove the clump of hardened grout. I think all they are doing at present is flushing some cement through the complex and it keeps blocking new pipes. Thank you all for your advice. If it happens again, I think I might have to do something drastic.... I might have to start writing letters, making some calls and withholding some rent! A-M xx

  25. Lord Have Mercy.

    No Australian should have to live this way in 2010.

    I hope they are giving you a rent discount while this is occuring.

    You don't realise how much you rely on working plumbing and stuff like electricity until it is cruelly snatched from you.

    Good Luck xxx

  26. Well, that's just crappy, enough to give you the shits. Yeah...sorry, you know me, couldn't resist.
    Good luck, may the stench leave you.

  27. Oh A-M and family,

    How terrible, I would be asking for a rent reduction, and a move to the new Penthouse. I wish you all the very best Good Luck. Mimi x

  28. Stench update - hubby has phoned to tell me that professional cleaners have come and gone and that the carpet is being replaced tomorrow. Apparently hubby got his grrrr gene going and created a bit of a scene in order to get things happening. He has also worded a strong letter to the developer... yay, one less battle I have to fight... so over fighting construction battles let me tell you. But we have both agreed - if it happens ONE MORE TIME, we're movin'... see... never a dull moment! Ever! Blog fodder forever! A-M xx

  29. Yuck! (...not very original, but that's the best word I can think of!)
    The only positive I can find in this (...I'm really clutching at straws here...) is that you will really appreciate it when you are in your next 'A-M Built' home!
    Good luck

  30. OMG!!! This is an awful story. You poor things!
    We had a similar story when we moved into our old house in a very old area with old pipes in the street! Like you the blockage happened at awful times, like New Years Day and Boxing Day when there was noone around to fix and there was sewerage from my house out on the street for the neighbours to walk past!! Doesnt help you at the mo.... but one day you may look back and laugh!!

  31. oh I just got an awful flashback to THAT smell!!!! It happened to us a couple of days before Christmas 2008 and I had just arrived home with my one week old baby, so you can imagine the trauma that has resurfaced now A-M.

    Hubby let out the kids' bath water and I heard a gurgling downstairs before spying a slow moving brown rivulet spreading across the carpet outside the downstairs bathroom. I actually walked away before calmly calling out to hubby that "some water" was coming from the floor waste downstairs. He rocketed downstairs with towels in hand and began damming! Turned out to be tree roots and poorly designed waste drainage. Emergency plumber came and the carpet guy cut a huge piece out and sprayed heavy duty chemicals around to decontaminate but the landlord baulked at replacing the flooring. We had bare particle boards and rusty nails exposed for three months before we left! Nightmare! Downstairs became a no-go zone for the kids too. We were never compensated by the landlord but we took it to tribunal and won just to make a point! Having moved four times in two years I feel your pain! Renting was a necessary evil, that's for sure. Good luck!

  32. omg AM and hubby - i cannot believe this is happening to you! Is there another vacant apartment they can move you into? It cant happen again!That is just horrible and the thought that you guys could get really sick too not to mention the mere thought and stench that must be going on + the worry of it. If i were you i would look elsewhere as surely you could break your lease. Moving is so horrible but this is worse. Sending you hugs, Mel xxx (ps 6 more sleeps...arghhh)

  33. Dear A-M, I am so sorry you are having this awful trouble, that is a bad thing to have to deal with; strangely I have been going on about drains on my blog (my mum has been having problems, hers was possibly tree roots and also neighbours putting stuff down the loos they should not, ugh; she is fearless and got the manhole covers up to have a good poke around - shall I send her over to help? on second thoughts you have enough trouble already !!) Make sure the landlord pays for everything including some posh candles and reed diffusers!! good luck Bxx

  34. Looks like Dodgy Brothers Design & Building are at it again dear A-M. A Current Affair would LOVE this story. I can see the Developer jumping the back fence in one bound as he's being pursued by the cameraman as we speak. Jane's advice was spot on - not a cent more rent should be paid for such sub-standard living conditions.
    Millie ^_^

  35. Sympathising with you miss A-M. We are having septic problems here as well with all of the rain backing up our French Drains...the toilet wont flush! Oh and of course the guy that drains the ahem 'crap' from the septic cant get here for the next week =0) FUN.
    Hang in there chook!
    Ness xx

  36. My mom's problem was tree roots and the neighbors (with multiple young ladies in residence ... if you get my drift) who didn't pay to run their line out to the street but were hooked in with our line. Which ran under a length of the house concrete walk and patio. Many a visit by the sanitation men and much mucking out of the basement. You need some rent relief.


Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to leave me a comment. I love hearing from you. A-M xx