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Posts: 1
Reply with quote  #1 
Back in November our tenant notified us that her bathtub was leaking. My husband's uncle is a plumber, so he came to assess the damage. The tub needed replaced, so he did this while our tenant was out of the house for a few days. She has two cats and a dog. She took one cat and the dog to the kennel and left the older cat in the house while she was gone, which she notified my husband of. My husband forgot to notify his uncle, and since the cat is shy and he never saw it, he didn't think to close the bathroom door every time he left. The cat got in under the tub at some point during the repair, and our tenant was the first to discover it. We did everything we could short of taking the tub out. The bathroom is on the second floor, so we even cut an additional hole in the ceiling of the first floor to create another outlet for the cat to come down. We also allowed the fire department in our apartment (we live side-by-side with our tenants) to try and get the cat out. After a few days, the cat came out on her own.

However, when we first got news from our tenant that the cat was trapped, we called my husband's uncle to come over and help us figure out what/if we could remove anything. Our tenant knew he was coming over, and as soon as he walked in the door she started hurling accusations at him. The whole situation was very tense, and he fired back at her stating it was her fault. Long story short, she was offended at the way he treated her and now does not want him doing repairs in her apartment without a member of her family present. 

The tub/shower has been usable this whole time, but there are some cosmetic things that need to be done to finish the job completely. We have attempted to schedule this, but we have not been able to coordinate our busy plumber's schedule with our tenant's. Some of his equipment is still in her bathroom, and she expressed to me this week that she "wants his crap out of there" and wanted to know when he could finish the job. When my husband called her (on Friday) to let her know that the work could be completed at 9:30 am Monday, she stated that she would not be home and that her son might have an appointment at that time. She wanted us to go ahead and schedule it, but wanted the option to cancel the appointment if no one would be home. 

Even if we are able to finish this repair, I am concerned about how to proceed in the future. We save a significant amount of money by having our uncle do our plumbing, and he does an excellent job. Frankly, we cannot afford to hire someone else to do the work without raising the rent. She seems to have gotten over the cat situation as far as the fact that my husband failed to notify his uncle, but she has a personal problem with his uncle at this point. We feel it is unreasonable for her to request a family member of hers be home given the circumstances but aren't sure about the legal aspect of it. In addition to that, we are neighbors with this woman and do not want to have to deal with her attitude if we "offend" her further. But on the other hand, we simply cannot deal with this hassle for every repair and let her think she is the one in charge. Any and all advice is welcome!!

Posts: 3,817
Reply with quote  #2 
Your husband really dropped the ball.  You should write a polite apology to the tenant letting her know that the plumber was not at fault.  He was not notified of any pet in the unit.  Politely ask that she cooperate with the plumber to finish the job. Once she stops blaming him for her trapped pet, she may be more apt to allow him in.  He also should apologize.  While it was not his fault, he did (unknowingly) cause distress over the trapped pet.

Pet owners think of their pets as their children.  Hers was caught in a wall for days.  She is upset, understandably.  You need to smooth this over.  Playing hardball, and simply insisting that she let him in, is only going to further this.

Posts: 6
Reply with quote  #3 

Wow, now that is story! The things you can get into.....


Posts: 577
Reply with quote  #4 

Tell her to lock the cat in another room while something is being repaired, or put the cat in a carrier so that her cat does not get in harms way. I am a cat owner & I know better than to leave it up to some stranger who is only thinking of the job at hand to make sure my animal does not get into mischief.

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