A serious problem + Lazy landlady = HELL

My friends and I moved into a new apartment at the end of August. The landlady promised to decorate it for us before we signed, then changed her mind after. There was nothing we could do, so we did the place up ourselves and after many hours of work it looked great. We bought everything, painted the walls and made it what it is.

About a month after, a small bump appeared in the living room floor. Later, it started to get bigger. We figured it was just the wood on the floor warping due to the cold winter affecting moisture that had previously gathered. About 6 weeks ago it suddenly got worse, and another lump (these are big lumps that are very noticeable as you walk over them) appeared in the spare bedroom.

My Chinese friend wrote a letter to the landlady (who has very poor English) for me because she is never at home to see visitors (or so her servant says). Instead she spends all her time at spas because she is an extremely wealthy ex-CEO of an investment bank (only in her 40’s). Her servant is a Fillipino who speaks poor English and NO Chinese. We got no reply from the letter. God knows if she even got it. Since then we have attempted to call her and visit her, but the only answers we get are, “Oh, Madam is busy” or “Madam is not at home”.

Now the people in apartments below ours are complaining that water is leaking into their apartments. We are on the third floor, and the people above us have no problems, and we dont have water leakage. So, it is coming from our apartment, possibly cuased by the source of our own problems. A guy showed us the water valve upstairs, and our meter indicator is moving really fast, and we are losing more water than we use, quadrupling our water bill. They say we have to switch off our water when we arent using it, but we are using it a lot when we are at home.

Yesterday, my friend called this woman. She said she would call us in 5 minutes. I waited 45 minutes but no call came. I called my boss, who called her again. She had said that she would call us after dinner. We waited, but no call came.

This is getting beyond a joke, and we feel helpless about what we can do. This woman seems either really lazy, or just doesnt care or realize her responsibility (this is her first rented-out property). Does anyone have any advice. We cant even establish communication becuase she doesnt call us back and her servant cannot understance Chinese. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

My opinion … get someone in there as soon as possible to check on it, have it fixed and if it’s caused by bad contruction have the bill send to the building maintenance company or to your landlord(lady), if this is water seeping out of the floor, euh … I wouldn’t want to think about that problem, they’ll have to cut open your floor and walls …

Simple answer, stop paying the rent and the water bills. I imagine she’ll be around soon enough.

As Belgian suggests, the problem is likely to result in someone coming around and jack hammering up your floor. They sometimes do this instead of changing light bulbs. It may be that you don’t want to endure this every Saturday morning from 6am and so best start burning off your bond and looking for other digs.


Agree. Stop paying rent for a couple of months then move out. Normal procedure with a LL like that. It’s not laziness. She just doesn’t care.

that sounds annoying - hope i never come across a landlord like that. All mine in Taipei were great.