Sunday, April 18, 2021

Highrise frustration

Not so much me because of my experience on the body corporate, but then R has experience too, but he seems to have forgotten how ponderous and complicated it is to get things done in our building.

Every so often R becomes so annoyed that he says this is worse than living in a government owned public highrise tower.  It isn't but I understand his frustration.

There is a floor lamp hanging over couches in the ground level foyer. It stopped working. Someone we know in the building jammed something into the lamp to screw out the broken fluorescent bulb and put in an old unused one of his own. That didn't last long and for months the lamp didn't work. We have an old no longer required light bulb and I often thought I should replace the bulb in the lamp, but then why should I? It is not my job. Suddenly the light is working after months of not working. 

There was a terrific renovation of all floors, with repainting, recarpeting, electric opening doors, lighting changed from halogen to LED. There are two sets of canopy lighting at the front of the building. We rarely go out at night but this Saturday night we did and it was dark when we arrived home. One set had been changed to LED, with one of them not working.

On the outer canopy, they are still halogen, half aren't working and the others very dim. They look awful. Plus the bollard lights weren't on either for some reason. Adjusting lighting for changing times of the years has always been a problem here. Such a basic thing in a building manager's job description, I would have thought.

The pool area had a nice paved bluestone surface. For some reason it was painted with a non slip paint. Then it was painted a second time. The second coat lifted and peeled back. The pool was to be closed for four days while the surface was repaired, then extended three more days, then extended for two more weeks. Of course no one knows why because that is not communicated.

To unlock doors and get around the building we have fobs with a button to press. The system has been changed to a much better contact fob and we were supposed to be issued with the new fobs in March 2020. 'You know what' intervened and it was delayed. Fair enough but in April 2021, we still don't have the new touch fobs, although some selected and privileged people seem to have the new fobs.

For 122 apartments, our building has two lifts and all being well two are adequate. I am stepping outside of Body Corporate matters now. Buildings like ours should have three lifts. A body corporate manger always argued to developers that a building our size should have three lifts and was ignored. So often one is isolated for a move in or out. But there was a fire in one lift motor and since before Easter we have one lift to use, and it will be repaired or upgraded within six to seven weeks. Jesus, that is not good. We can wait at times for such a long time for the single lift. A week after the lift broke, information was slipped under the door about the lift problem. ThyssenKrupp who have the lift maintenance contract must be laughing all the way to the bank.

Not quite public housing government for the poor but at time it feels very close.

Nevertheless, I love living here.

Raw and unchecked checked for grammar, spelling and typos. 


34 comments:

  1. Sigh.
    Mind you some days it would be nice to expect that anyone else was responsible for ongoing maintenance. It is up to us, and some days things don't get done. Which only penalises us.

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    1. Yes, that is one disadvantage about living in our situation.

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  2. We have similar challenges in our building and baffling senior unfriendly issues, never resolved. Our super has to be sober to do anything and refuses to take notes on repairs as his memory is "outstanding". We are left with outstanding jobs that need attention. So complete sympathy. But like you, I absolutely love living here and it's subsidized.

    XO
    WWW

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    1. WWW,I suppose some people, maybe you, remind him of things.

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  3. It been ages since I rented, but it does have fall back. We had bulbs that kept burning out. One of my bother in law told us to pull out breaker and put it back in. The light works fine.
    Coffee is on and stay safe

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    1. Dora, that is very interesting and I've not heard that cure for bulbs burning out.

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  4. Do you not have a building manager/janitor/caretaker? Surely it's someone's job to change broken bulbs etc!

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    1. Cro, one manager and two cleaners. The manager's work load, I believe, is too much. He is very obliging if asked or a fault is mentioned to him.

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  5. Though there are frustrations in my block - the ongoing problem with the lift over many, many years - I quite like being in a block of only 32. It feels quite "personal" as I know many of the people living here. That said, I'm looking forward to retirement back in Lismore and living in a home of my own.

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    1. James, not too many floors and maybe you can use stairs but nearly 20 levels is too much for us now. It is good to know people where you live.

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  6. Sounds like it's time to pack up and move to a cabin in the country. Oh wait, you love living there. Perhaps you should learn to become the "squeaky wheel" and make all the fuss necessary to get the "grease" (things fixed).
    It's possible I suppose that a lot of the necessary tradespersons are stuck at home waiting out Covid, just like the rest of us. Phone them up and make an appointment for 2025.

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    1. River, no way. That is exactly what I want to do but R says not to get known as a whinger. I don't think any tradies are home now.

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  7. My building has only two elevators, or as you call them, lifts, but it's only five stories high, and if I'm not to tired, I take the stairs anyway (I live on the third floor.) Just today I was getting my first COVID shot, and the Wal-Mart where I received it was right next to a high-rise apartment building (a pretty rare sight in the suburbs.) I didn't count how many stories, but it was a helluva lot more than five, and waaay into the double digits. I marveled at it and wondered if I lived at the very top whether I could take the stairs or would my legs give out. I also wondered about the elevators, assuming there must be more than just two for a building that tall. But if yours only have two, maybe not.

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    1. Kirk, I too would take three flights of stairs but that is about my comfortable limit. Wal-Mart does COVID jabs? I think our lift number is fairly standard for a building this size, unfortunately.

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  8. I know they say don’t use the lifts if there’s a fire but id worry sick if I couldn’t get out/down in any emergency. Is there a government body complaints can be made to on the owners/tenants behalf to try and hurry things up

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    1. Cathy, if any matters were serious and not addressed I would but things get done eventually. There is so much fire protection in a building like ours but we are dependant on a private company to check and maintain it. They do seem to do it well enough. If I believed there really was a fire, I would use the stairs.

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  9. Two lifts for a building that big seems inadequate. There should at least be an additional service elevator for people moving and construction and that sort of thing.

    As you mentioned with the fobs, I bet Covid has delayed some of these projects.

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    1. I agree Steve. One of body corporate managers used to argue that every time to the building developers before construction began, but in vain. COVID did delay the handout but we had virtually no community transmission in Australia this year.

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  10. Love living here is the most important. We only have 4 levels and on each are 3 apartments. One lift is enough because on my floor we are 6 people and not going out at the same time ! So far we had no troubles except once when the lift broke down for 3 days !!

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    1. Gattina, that is the thing about lifts. There are lots of moving parts and they do break down often enough. No lift we leave Mr G stranded wouldn't it, and not great if he needed an ambulance.

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  11. It seems the building manager isn't doing a very good job.
    I lived in a double storey apartment in Portugal, but the building only had 2 floors and 3 apartments per floor, with the top floor apartments being double storey. No lift, not many problems and one of the residents took care of stuff for years. Here in Perth we own an investment apartment with the idea of eventually moving there when we retire. But from all the correspondence we get from the strata company of all the do's and don'ts we now feel there are too many restrictions, even down to the colour of curtains or blinds (white only) so it all matches from the outside, no plants poking out from the balcony, etc...so we will be selling it, certainly don't want to feel that restricted!

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    1. As I said in another comment Sami, his workload is huge and he has always being so obliging when I have asked anything of him. There is one thing I haven't asked him but I would like to, but I am sure he would say no.
      You know what that tells me about your investment apartment? It is well run by people who care about the building and their home. Do you know the percentage of of tenants as against owner/occupiers? That is another good tip before making a decision.

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  12. My monthly maintenance fee is high, but the place is well run. The building is about 250 apartments, we have three elevators.

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    1. Travel, as is ours quite expensive but similar building who pay similar fees can be very badly run compared to ours. That is double our number of our apartments and at that size things must be very professional.

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  13. That It Just Crazy As All Of This Issues Are Easily Fixable - If Managers Would Take Action, Show Responsibility, The Residents Would Then Show Pride By Helping With Insignificant Ways - Slow Or Single Lifts Are Beyond Frustrating For Sure - Be Well This Week

    Cheers

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    1. Padre, isn't it like littering? If people see litter everywhere, they will drop litter. If there is no litter and things are well maintained, they are less inclined to.

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  14. Further to your comment on my post...
    Andrew, that glass was a set my parents had when I was growing up, it must be at least 50 years old!!!!
    I agree, these trucks do cause a lot of accidents, they are poorly maintained here as well. Just a few weeks ago one pushed a car along the expressway without even knowing.
    https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/truck-driver-charged-pushing-car-gardiner-on-ramp-police-1.5961637

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    1. Jackie, the glass or crystal? is quite beautiful. I hope you hand wash it. We didn't with our Waterford sherry decanter and the d/w make is cloudy. It is hard to understand that truck business. How could the driver have not known when there were clouds of dust or smoke coming up? I can see how he or she wouldn't seen the car at the front once it had been hit.

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  15. I have to admit that our building has a great building manager (well, not him so much) but the maintenance team are fabulous. The board is also fantastic at keeping everything spic and span. Elevators are a problem in a building that is as old as ours. I never understood when it was built why they didn't put in a dedicated freight elevator for moves and construction?? We have 3 per side (1-25) and (25-44) so 6 in total. At the moment we are only allowed 2 people per elevator so that can slow things down.
    The other odd thing is the "shuttle" elevator is small and goes from the main floor to the 4 parking levels. If this is not working that people have to take the stairs.

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    1. Jackie, in part it really is up to the board to control what the manager and other staff do or don't do. How many apartments are in your building? The number of lifts seem quite generous. Another gripe of mine is that our lifts don't go down to basement level carpark and on the same level, the recycling room. Stairs or a decent car park walk from ground to get there.

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  16. Why don't you say to R: "Hey chill out dude! What will be will be. Just be grateful that we are not living in a mud hut in the middle of Africa. Here, take a chill pill and look at the view!"

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    1. YP, I am not in the habit of throwing petrol onto a burning fire.

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  17. I lived in public housing and it does sound a lot like one of the buildings where I lived. The elevator often wasn't working but fortunately there were stairs and five flights aren't so bad, after you do it a week.

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    1. Stayer, how would you go with five flights of stairs now?

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Before you change something, find out why it is the way it is in the first place - unknown.