Author Topic: My apartment's air ducts are rotted out - how should I handle this?  (Read 117 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Kattelox

  • Cart Corral Crusader
  • Posts: 4931
For the last couple years I've been wondering why my AC/furnace seem to be running 24/7 even in mild weather. The AC struggles to get under 76 and even then it'll only be off for maybe 5 minutes before cranking itself for another 15-20. Same with the heat in the winter, it struggles to stay warm downstairs. Well, it's partially my fault for only just now checking, but I had a peek into the air ducts yesterday. Two of them are completely rotted out. One of them, in the dining room, is completely gone. I have no idea where the rest of the duct is, as far as I can see the entire damn thing is rotted out, there's no sign of a duct even remaining. The other is by the front door, and while it's not as bad as I can see it's completely rotted out further down.

This would explain my obscenely high power bills the last couple of years. How should I handle this at my leasing office? I've just found the second one this morning, so I'm going to go up and demand they fix this ASAP, but I've also been paying through the nose for my power. I would like to demand a significant rent credit but that's where I'm torn - do I have any right to do that? Can I request my past power bills from the local company to show them how high it's been during the summer/winter months? I'm pretty sure this is where a lot of the insects have been coming from (house centipedes, drain flies, etc.).

They're so rotted out it looks like it's been this way for many years, far beyond my residency here. They should have looked at this stuff before I moved in because it looks like they've been rotted away for 5-10 years at least.
RYM || Last.FM
"No Christ, God, nor religion gave me the answers I was looking for" - Timo Tolkki

Offline Kattelox

  • Cart Corral Crusader
  • Posts: 4931
Re: My apartment's air ducts are rotted out - how should I handle this?
« Reply #1 on: September 27, 2018, 05:46:20 AM »
Here are a couple images. The first one is by the front door, the second monstrosity is in the dining room next to the back door.

RYM || Last.FM
"No Christ, God, nor religion gave me the answers I was looking for" - Timo Tolkki

Offline lordxizor

  • EZBoard Elder
  • *****
  • Posts: 2816
  • Gender: Male
  • and that is the truth.
Re: My apartment's air ducts are rotted out - how should I handle this?
« Reply #2 on: September 27, 2018, 06:14:11 AM »
Check and see if your city has a group that inspects rental properties. Contact them and ask your question and see what they say. They should be well aware of your legal rights as a tenant in your city. I did this once when I was renting a home and it was very helpful.

My guess is that for sure they'll have to fix it, but you may have a hard time getting them to credit you anything for your utility bills. Maybe push to have $0 rent while they're making the repairs? I'm sure there will be walls ripped open and a giant inconvenience while it's happening.

Offline Samsara

  • DTF.org Alumni
  • ****
  • Posts: 4765
  • Gender: Male
  • AnybodyListening.net
    • AnybodyListening.net - The Ultimate Guide to Queensr˙che's Original Lineup!
Re: My apartment's air ducts are rotted out - how should I handle this?
« Reply #3 on: September 27, 2018, 10:55:27 AM »
Before you get the city involved, try and solve the issue with the landlord/property manager. SHow them these pictures. Call them over. Tell them you've been living there for X number of years, and the AC/Heat always seemed to be on too much. Get the issue corrected, and see where your power bill goes from there. But the main thing, if you want to stay there, is to get it fixed, and stop pissing away money.

Once that is done, re-evaluate how far you want to push them. Just my .02.
AnybodyListening.net - The Ultimate Guide to Queensr˙che's Original Lineup

Offline El Barto

  • DTF.org Alumni
  • ****
  • Posts: 20875
  • Bad Craziness
Re: My apartment's air ducts are rotted out - how should I handle this?
« Reply #4 on: September 27, 2018, 11:11:28 AM »
Is this a big apartment complex, or like a quad or something? Where you're going to run into a problem is if it's a normal 200 unit complex. That's likely happening everywhere. Maybe they fix yours just to shut you up so everybody else doesn't start complaining. Maybe you start something they're simply not capable of dealing with.
Argument, the presentation of reasonable views, never makes headway against conviction, and conviction takes no part in argument because it knows.
E.F. Benson

Offline pg1067

  • Posts: 1431
  • Gender: Male
Re: My apartment's air ducts are rotted out - how should I handle this?
« Reply #5 on: September 27, 2018, 11:25:57 AM »
It's unlikely that you're legally entitled to any sort of compensation for past utility bills (especially if you never complained to the landlord about high utility bills).  On the other hand, once you notify the landlord about the problem, if the landlord fails to fix the problem in a reasonably timely manner, you could be entitled to compensation for future bills in excess of what they would be with repaired ducts.

But I agree with Samsara that you need to get the problem fixed and then -- depending on how the landlord deals with it -- think about asking for some sort of rent credit.  You can, of course, start dropping hints (e.g., "so...I figure this is why my utility bills have been so high").  Again, however, if you never complained to the landlord about how high the bills were, the landlord would likely have had no reason to know there was a problem
"There's a bass solo in a song called Metropolis where I do a bass solo."  John Myung

Offline Kattelox

  • Cart Corral Crusader
  • Posts: 4931
Re: My apartment's air ducts are rotted out - how should I handle this?
« Reply #6 on: September 27, 2018, 11:41:13 AM »
I'm bad at housing terminology, I guess the correct term is townhome? There are 4 units here connected side by side, 2 floors each; mine is on the back end so I only have one direct neighbor.

Yeah, honestly, I'm low maintenance and nonconfrontational so I don't think I'll pursue any type of credit at all. I showed them the photos and emailed them this morning per their request and surprisingly they've already come out to measure the vents which is incredibly fast given how long it's taken them to respond to other problems in the past. Hooray.
RYM || Last.FM
"No Christ, God, nor religion gave me the answers I was looking for" - Timo Tolkki

Offline Dublagent66

  • RIP My Love 1964 - 2016
  • DTF.org Alumni
  • ****
  • Posts: 6855
  • Gender: Male
  • I will see you on the other side...
Re: My apartment's air ducts are rotted out - how should I handle this?
« Reply #7 on: September 27, 2018, 11:43:51 AM »
Before you get the city involved, try and solve the issue with the landlord/property manager. SHow them these pictures. Call them over. Tell them you've been living there for X number of years, and the AC/Heat always seemed to be on too much. Get the issue corrected, and see where your power bill goes from there. But the main thing, if you want to stay there, is to get it fixed, and stop pissing away money.

Once that is done, re-evaluate how far you want to push them. Just my .02.

Well technically, paying rent is pissing away money.  If the air ducts look that way in one unit, it's mostly likely they look that way in several units if not all.  I would ask neighbors how theirs look.  If the landlord eventually decides to get the problem fixed, it will most likely increase everyone's rent anyway.  Therefore, more pissed away money.  My solution would be, buy a house and become your own landlord.  :biggrin:
Everything that CAN go wrong, WILL go wrong ...and if nothing has gone wrong...you obviously DON'T UNDERSTAND the situation.

"Bow your heads and abandon hope."   -Symphony X - Reign in Madness

Offline Kattelox

  • Cart Corral Crusader
  • Posts: 4931
Re: My apartment's air ducts are rotted out - how should I handle this?
« Reply #8 on: September 27, 2018, 11:46:57 AM »
I've got a house I'm ready to buy, actually, it's just a matter of waiting for the old bastard to croak and finally give it up so I can clean all of his shit out. Fucker doesn't even live in it anymore.
RYM || Last.FM
"No Christ, God, nor religion gave me the answers I was looking for" - Timo Tolkki