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Tenant Landlord Relations

Japan With Kids - Forums: Shopping in Japan: Real-estate, Purchase/Rental: Tenant Landlord Relations
By Khristine Schaffner on Wednesday, October 15, 2003 - 10:02 pm:

We are renting an apartment that is maintained by a large
maintenance company. Our front door frame seems to be sinking onto the frame and causing the door to stick so badly that the building manager could not open and close it without my assistance (he is smaller than I am).

Also there is a rusted awning in over the door which is made of iron and glass. It has already dropped a metal panel about a meter long and 15 cm wide. And, there is another door on the main buiding that needs to be fixed to prevent sticking as well. Also the back exit, which leads nowhere, also has a rusted back gate that does not open. So, it could be very hard to get out in an earthquake if we need to (esp. if the door frame falls further).

I first contacted our real-estate agent for help in March of this year and still the maintenance company keeps making excuses as to why it cannot fix this. The landlord also says he cannot change maintenance companies. In my opinion, not having a guaranteed exit is unsafe. Is there an agency or group I can contact for legal help to make them fix it? Or, to provide a safe alternative residence until it is fixed? Am I just paranoid?

We already paid so much key money/deposit and rent and it's not really affordable to move.

By Yuko Kubota on Thursday, October 16, 2003 - 5:02 pm:

You can consult at the shohisha centers. Following are some organizations.
Also, municipals often provide free counseling for law, health and other life matters in foreign languages. Ask at your local kuyakusho or shiyakusho for details. But imho, if the doors were already like that when you decided to live there, I don't think you can ask for compensation. In any case, all maintenance companies and construction companies are really slow and stubborn. One option is to ask the landlord (or the board direct if there is one) to keep one door opened at all times so you won't have to panic in case you need to escape. Of course, this will probably require approval from all residents in your apartment. What do your neighbors say? Perhaps you can make the voice bigger by talking to them, or otherwise, you can be convinced by them that there's no need to be as you said "paranoid".

Btw, I'm a native resident of Tokyo/Yokohama area, but I'm relatively new to the list, so others may have better ideas.

By Steve K on Monday, October 20, 2003 - 12:44 pm:

Good luck! It took us six months to get the maintenance company to fix a broken light over the stairs in our new apartment building. And that only happened after I went to the real estate agency every day for a week to pester them about the broken light. They didn't like me, especially since the other tenants kept 'mum about the problem.

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