Does This Seem Right To You? One-Day Notice for Repairs In Our Building

@pyewacket (43962)
United States
October 5, 2007 3:33pm CST
Today when I went out I noticed that there were signs tacked up on the entrance doors of our apartment building. Back in May our building went through a re-wiring thing, and all the apartments were re-wired but at least we got a week's notice about that, as everyone had to stay home all day, while the work was done. But they didn't finish...the whole idea was to re-wire to place in circuit breakers in each apartment, but there was still finishing touches remaining to be done before the electrical system is switched over to the circuit breaker system So today when I went out, like I said I saw these signs tacked up announcing to the tenants that the electricians are going to finish up the work, and it's to be done TOMORROW between the hours of 7a.m. to 5 p.m. Okay no problem..BUT In order to do this, our electricity has to be shut down that whole time---Is this right? First, only giving us tenants a one day notice to begin with, and then to have to have our electricity shut off so many hours? Like hey! What about our food in our refrigerators and freezers? Luckily I don't have too much food in the freezer, but I do have frozen chicken, hamburger, bags of vegetables, ice cream...yeesh Does this sound right to you? I'm wondering if there can be some kind of monetary compensation for the food that is going to be spoiled now. Have any of you have to deal with anything so aggravating with some kind of "unexpected" repairs and only given a short notice like this?
11 people like this
24 responses
@TerryZ (22146)
• United States
5 Oct 07
Im glad to say no I never gone through anything like that. Wow that really is such short notice. So now what are you suppose to do? If you have a chest you can fill it up with some ice and put your food in there. Or you can eat it all!LOL I couldnt resist that.LOL
@pyewacket (43962)
• United States
5 Oct 07
Wonder if my kitties would eat the chicken..LOL...they don't eat people food anymore, just Fancy Feast for their royal highnesses...Hey want to come over for a big chicken dinner???? :)
1 person likes this
@TerryZ (22146)
• United States
5 Oct 07
Yes I would like that! What should I wear?LOL My cats eat fancy feast too. Just the salmon one.LOL But Blacky the one that ran away would eat chicken and anything else.LOL
1 person likes this
@pyewacket (43962)
• United States
5 Oct 07
Oh I just got a nice supply of Fancy Feast for my cats today--including Salmon--Hehe
1 person likes this
• Philippines
5 Oct 07
I haven't experienced that before but I'm experiencing the opposite of that right now. Last month, September, 3 florescent lights in my room had exploded. For each time it exploded, I had to wait for a week before it was repaired. My land lady told me frequently that a repairman was scheduled to come so I waited but they kept delaying and delaying the repairs. I felt like I was living in a cave last month. Oh, I forgot my light had blown up again the first day of this month and my land lady had told me to be patient. the repairman just didn't want to come here because it was raining. What did I do to deserve this? I pay my rent on time! And I'm a good tenant. Why can't they fix my light? Do any of you know how I can fix it? I think I'm desparate now. Well, the problem is the wiring. It had to be be rewired I guess.
@pyewacket (43962)
• United States
6 Oct 07
I hate to say it, but that sounds dangerous to me..sounds like there might be a short in the electrical which could start a fire...maybe you need to be more demanding and persistent. If nothing happens perhaps call the Housing Dept and find out what your rights are there...better to be safe there when it comes to electricity
1 person likes this
@gabs8513 (48803)
• United Kingdom
5 Oct 07
No I do not think that is right you should have had a lot more notice Also I don't know if you know this but the Freezer will keep it frozen for 24 hours as long as you do not open the Freezer and break the Seal once the Electric goes of so your Food should be ok
2 people like this
@pyewacket (43962)
• United States
5 Oct 07
My problem is, I have a no-defrost freezer...so there's no ice accumulation in it...handy that I never have to defrost the freezer, but having that ice in there would've been better in this case...
2 people like this
@gabs8513 (48803)
• United Kingdom
5 Oct 07
Well I guess so but I think they should work the same really as long as the seal is not broke it should keep the food frozen I hope for you that it does I really do Hugs
1 person likes this
@pyewacket (43962)
• United States
6 Oct 07
Well I got my electricity back on about an hour ago...I just made a check on my frozen foods, and with the exception of the ice cream going blooey on me, everything stayed nice and frozen...LOL
1 person likes this
@AmbiePam (46329)
• United States
5 Oct 07
No, it's not right. Last month I got a one day notice that our apartments were going to be sprayed and we needed to be out of the apartment for 8 hours, and take our pets with us. One day! I had no idea what I was going to do. My parents won't let the dogs in their house, and their backyard fence had holes in it. My dad finally got a friend of his to keep them for that day, but I was so annoyed. One day to make plans that we should have been told about at least a week prior to the spray.
2 people like this
@pyewacket (43962)
• United States
5 Oct 07
That's horrible...gee aren't our landlords really considerate??..NOT
2 people like this
@AmbiePam (46329)
• United States
5 Oct 07
Do you think it is because we are 'low income', and they don't think it matters?
1 person likes this
@pyewacket (43962)
• United States
6 Oct 07
I don't think it has anything to do with low income or not...all I know is that my landlord is....uh, well, I'm a lady..can't say that here...LOL
1 person likes this
@Darkwing (21590)
5 Oct 07
No, I don't think this is fair notice. For one thing, people had to go outside to see the notices, which in all possibility, they didn't. Secondly, people will have made other arrangements for tomorrow and in some instances, will not be able to change them and stay home, and for a third, as you said, with freezers off and no time to place your frozen food with another family member or friend whilst the work's done, you're going to have food ruined. I think that must count for some compensation claim, don't you? Brightest Blessings, my friend.
@pyewacket (43962)
• United States
5 Oct 07
I myself have plans for tomorrow, and most people do on weekends anyway who work all week long--Yes I certainly think there should be some kind of compensation...like a reduction on the rent for next month?? LOL
1 person likes this
@Darkwing (21590)
6 Oct 07
Or even a month FREE of rental. he he he. Go for whatever your lawyer or adviser thinks fit. They know what they can get away with but I would certainly try to recoup something from it. As for the wiring... did enough people stay home to allow them to finish? :)
@pyewacket (43962)
• United States
7 Oct 07
All the wiring was done in the basement of the building so one was free to come and go..Not so when they came here back in May to do the individual wiring for each apartment...my kitties weren't thrilled that day...I'm lucky I have a gigantic pet traveling case that could fit a pony...Before they came that day I shoved them in there and I'm glad I did, cause the electricians kept the front door wide open..I was afraid they'd run out....And the noise must have terrorized them something fierce with all that drilling and stuff..after they left, and I opened the traveling case door they wouldn't come out for hours..and they sure as heck must have been annoyed at me for shoving them in their like that...but hey it was for their own safety--I didn't want to lose them!
@susieq223 (3742)
• United States
5 Oct 07
As a home owner, I have had to deal with a lot of stuff like that. Particularly the fun of waiting at home all day (taking off from work in days past) for a repairman whol never shows up. These are the things of life designed to drive you crazy!!! Your freezer should be okay if you don't open it.
2 people like this
• United States
5 Oct 07
Now that I am a college student and a freelance writer, I am the one that automatically gets the short straw for coping with things like that. It wrecks an entire day of writing because you waiting for someone (or at least, it does for me).
1 person likes this
@pyewacket (43962)
• United States
5 Oct 07
Speaking of which...how did the bathroom repairs go? Any improvements?? And morgandrake..oh, how I know....having to wait around for any kind of repairs drives me batty...the whole day is ruined for me, and I too can't concentrate on my writing or other work
1 person likes this
• United States
5 Oct 07
Hi Pye, my husband in the early years of our marriage was an apartment manager, and from experience I can tell you that you are held hostage and at the mercy of contractors. You never really can be sure they will be there the day they say they will nor are they reliable in finishing the job hired for on the day hired. Its a very reasonable assumption that your apartment managers only got notice themselves. As far as food spoilage, depending on your type of fridge, as long as it is not opened and closed the freezer should hold the contents. You also have the choice of moving your food to a friend or family member who has space off the complex. I hear your concern friend just trying to give you a bit of perspective in to the "other" side.
2 people like this
• United States
5 Oct 07
Electricians are bad. In part, it is simply that emergencies take first priority. Between that and job site issues--you can't put in wiring before the framing is done and if the inspection fails, you have to go back--their schedule is unstable and at best guess when they are trying to figure out when they are going to show up. This viewpoint is from the son of a construction worker.
@pyewacket (43962)
• United States
5 Oct 07
I wish I could do that...I have a friend who lives down the block and she'd be more than happy to store my food...one big problem...She's away until Monday on a trip attending a wedding...drat Oh don't get me going about contractors showing up--when I was waiting for the plasterer to come to fill in the holes the electricians left, it was told that they would be here on such and such a day...never showed up...four times!!! They did finally come, but in their own sweet time
1 person likes this
• United States
5 Oct 07
That DOES suck! That's a long time without electricity! It looks like they could just shut down the apartments in which the repairs are being made. Or is in the main breaker or something they're working on? I guess we won't be seeing much of you tomorrow :( It's strange too that the repairs are happening on a Saturday. Weird. I'd suggest getting a cooler and some ice if you don't a a cooler. The freezer will keep the stuff pretty frozen for a long time though because of the cold air enclosed in there and all. But I would check it every few hours or so just to make sure everything is okay.
2 people like this
@pyewacket (43962)
• United States
5 Oct 07
No --was told that they have to shut the electricity off down in the basement, so that means all the apartments are affected :( Plan to shut down my computer completely tonight and unplug it--uh, just in case of any power surges--even with a power strip could still be affected. I wish my friend down the block was home, I zip over to her place and have her store my food for me until it's all over with, but she's away until Monday on a trip for a wedding...drat
2 people like this
• United States
5 Oct 07
Aww man! That really sucks then. I feel for you. Good idea too about shutting the computer down. You just never know. I would unplug everything too while your at it. Even your other stuff could be affected with surges. My fridge and my xbox messed up because of a surge once (ice storm tore my lines off the house). Luckily the fridge was brand new and still under warranty.
1 person likes this
@ElicBxn (60142)
• United States
5 Oct 07
IF you keep your fridge & freeser closed, your food should be alright. If you repack it today getting the chicken & veggies around the ice cream even that should be alright. You might want to set it really cold tonight so when it does go off it starts colder than normal.
2 people like this
@pyewacket (43962)
• United States
5 Oct 07
I have my refrigerator set pretty cold to begin with...Yes I could even put the frozen veggie bags on top of the chicken..that might help a little bit..as for my ice cream...mmmm....maybe I'll have that for dinner..LOL
2 people like this
@pyewacket (43962)
• United States
5 Oct 07
Problem is, there is no place to get blocks of ice here :(
1 person likes this
@twoey68 (13662)
• United States
5 Oct 07
We live in apartments but luckly they are pretty good about notifying us when something is going on like inspections or the bug guy coming around. The only advice I can give you is if the frozen food is in a refrigerator freezer just don't open the freezer door. If it is in a floor freezer you might try covering it with a heavy blanket to keep any outside heat or inside cold from bothering it. I've heard of alot of ppl doing this when their power goes out. **AT PEACE WITHIN** ~~STAND STRONG IN YOUR BELIEFS~~
2 people like this
@pyewacket (43962)
• United States
5 Oct 07
I plan to open the fridge as little as possible and will keep the freezer closed period--maybe I'll eat up all the ice cream tonight though--LOL
1 person likes this
@misheleen73 (6037)
• United States
5 Oct 07
My husband used to be an apartment maintenance guy. He can fix anything from electricity to apartment buzzers. Here in Illinois, there is a 24 hour notice rule. They have to give you 24 hrs notice of any intent to enter your apartment, etc. I have been in situations with the electricity out for days back in Florida with hurricanes and such. It is never fun. Everyone has given you really good ideas about keeping everything cold. We'll miss seeing you around tomorrow !!!
2 people like this
@pyewacket (43962)
• United States
5 Oct 07
The rotten thing is, to pick on a weekend day...so many people have plans on the weekend...Oh I'll be back here..uh, eventually...plan to completely shut down my computer and even unplug it--now I just hope I can get it up and running later on! :(
1 person likes this
• United States
5 Oct 07
It's not right, I will agree with on that. However, each state has their own landlord/tenant laws and yours may only require that a twenty four notice be required. Most states require a 48 hour notice for major repairs or entering a residence. If you have a copy of your lease, take a look at it and see what it says. Unfortunately, there really isn't much you can do about it from a legal standpoint at such a short notice. Also, the landlord is not required to give you any compensation for your trouble. There are a couple of things you can do as far as the food is concerned...use coolers (you know, the kind you take camping), and put block ice in them, then put your food, and frozens in them. It helps if you mix them up, that way the frozens can also help keep the refrigerator stuff colder, so it doesn't go bad. If you have to try to borrow coolers from family or friends instead of going out and buying them. I know it is a pain, I've been there. For light, if you need it, open up all the curtains. Also, make sure everyone has bathed/showered the tonight, so they don't have to in the morning, if your water heater is electric. It's also a good idea to fill about 5-10 jugs of water, so you can flush the toilet if the water will be off too.
2 people like this
@pyewacket (43962)
• United States
5 Oct 07
Actually where I am (NY) there are no real rules or laws like that...I know cause one time I was looking into exactly what time element for a notice is given. Nope I no longer have any coolers now, and my one friend who lives down the block from me is away until Monday as she is going to a wedding..I would have asked her to store my food in her refridge/freezer. LOL--curtains? I don't have any...hehe...but thankfully it's a sunny apartment for most of the daytime anyway--Good idea about the water though!!
1 person likes this
@mfpsassy (2827)
• United States
6 Oct 07
Unfortunately yes. But only if it is a repair that is immediate. In other words if it effects your water, heat, food and so on landlords have 24 hours to fix the problem. Though if they are posting notices it is to be on individual doors. Other than that they are only required to give you 48 hous notice. We are landlords of a couple of house so..... If thesse repairs fall under the 24 hour rule even if it's not your apartment than yes you all have to suffer. Sorry
1 person likes this
@pyewacket (43962)
• United States
6 Oct 07
Thing is, this isn't/wasn't an immediate thing...the electricians started the rewiring in May and all these months nothing more happened with it..and when they did do the rewiring back then we were given a full week's notice--not just 24 hours
1 person likes this
@mfpsassy (2827)
• United States
6 Oct 07
I would suggest looking up your landlord/tenant laws for your state. If the landlord is in violation then you need to let your local renter's advocates know. Being as you live in an apartment it is better to go through them. There is less chance of retaliation that way. It won't solve your current problem, but it will help to prevent future ones. That is all the help I can give based on what I know.
@pyewacket (43962)
• United States
7 Oct 07
I had looked up the laws sometime ago for some other thing as I wanted to know how much time one has to be given notice if it's not an emergency situation...there are none here in NY, can you believe that?
1 person likes this
@Lakota12 (42794)
• United States
6 Oct 07
No I was lucky for them to come fix what I reported needed to be ixed BUt looks like they should have know a couple of days ahead but then again noot the electricians might have just told them
1 person likes this
@pyewacket (43962)
• United States
6 Oct 07
It does seem that it was a last minute thing on part of the electricans, but still not fair when you think of it
@Lakota12 (42794)
• United States
6 Oct 07
really not but look ya made it thru ok and you are back and appreciating your electric even more than ya did. hugs
@morgandrake (2144)
• United States
5 Oct 07
If your seals are good on your freezer, the food should still be ok. I used to work in food service; ten hours is nothing--as long as the stuff in the freezer doesn't get above forty degrees you are ok. Fridge is harder; don't open it if you don't have to. Stuff like this was part of the reason me and the wife decided to buy a house. Not that we haven't had power outages--don't get me started on last summer ('06) and how the power line hit the back of the house and the mess that caused. In my last apartment, it was plumbing that was an issue--twice a year, I would have water pouring from my bathroom ceiling. Of course with electricians involved, it might not be the landlord's fault (again don't get me started). Some of them (electricians that is) are big on spur of the moment notices. And if so, the landlord was as surprised as you are.
@pyewacket (43962)
• United States
5 Oct 07
Oh the plumbing in the building is a winner too...NOT--Mmmm..can't wait to make my fortune so I can move into my own house...LOL Good to know that the food might be all right for so long though..It was two? Three? years ago, when we had that blackout here in NY for three days...I was eating canned food for I don't know how long...blaugh..Didn't get any meats or anything for a long time, as there were warnings that all the meats stored in warehouse freezers were affected too
1 person likes this
• United States
5 Oct 07
The problem with the plumbing (besides it actually being used) was that the building was built right after World War II, so you had Canadian and American parts mixed all together. And the landlord was too cheap to rip it all out and start all over. One of the selling points on this house was that the plumbing was all newly replaced (the previous owner was a plumber by trade). Yikes, three days without juice. I forgot all about that happening in your neck of the woods. Yummy, it is carrion for dinner--too bad, we are not ravens.
@thefortunes (2368)
• Netherlands
6 Oct 07
Hi Pye, and it really sounds too much to be true - not tenants friendly indeed. How are you supposed to find a way to keep your frozen stuff frozen for so long without a plenty of time notice? I guess they will not pay you for the trouble, and trouble it is if you, and all the others are unable to find a place where you could place your frozen stuff. Ver bad indeed, and I hope someone will be able to give a good suggestion as to how to act and what to do in regards TheFortunes
1 person likes this
@pyewacket (43962)
• United States
6 Oct 07
I just got my electricity back on about an hour ago...I was amazed that when I checked my food in the freezer it was okay...even my ice cubes stayed frozen--I hardly opened the fridge at all..just once to get my breakfast foods, and didn't open the freezer door at all...the only thing that got yukyy was my ice cream though... :(
@pismeof (855)
• United States
6 Oct 07
Well Pye, The electricians shouldn't need to shut down all the electricity all at once. From your description I am going to sermise that they'll be tying each apartment into a new circuit box and that will occur one by one for each .Of course the number of workers will determine how many get done simultaniously. Just leave your freezer closed while the work is going on and you should get by O.K.
@pyewacket (43962)
• United States
6 Oct 07
Nope they're switching off the electricity in the whole building to do the rewiring in the basement..so all electricity off in all the apartments
@chargoans (940)
• United States
6 Oct 07
Unfortunately, tenant/lanlord rights vary from state to state. For the most part I would be appreciative to the fact that you are being forewarned! Just think of the turmoil if they just went about with repairs/improvements without notice. Here in NC, I believe a tenant has to be notified with only 24 hours advance notice.
1 person likes this
@pyewacket (43962)
• United States
6 Oct 07
I suppose you're right there...only thing is when we had the rewiring done in each apartment, we were warned about it a full week in advance and they didn't have to switch the electricity off at all, but we still had to be present in our apartments while they worked
@anniepa (27121)
• United States
6 Oct 07
No, it doesn't sound at all right to me. They really should have to compensate you for any spoiled food, that's for sure. I can see no reason why they couldn't have give you more notice, I'd say at least 3 days would be reasonable. I think it's bad enough when I need to have a technician come, like for the cable or phone, and they can't give you an approximate time other than between 7 am and 5 pm. So I stay home and wait all day when there are things I need to do and they show up at 4:45 or even worse call at the last minute and say, hey, we're behind schedule so we'll be there tomorrow. Annie
1 person likes this
@worldwise1 (14890)
• United States
5 Oct 07
I'll admit, pyewacket, that this could have been done in a better way. Just one more example of how we're going to he11 in a handbasket, lol. The management of my apartment have taken to giving one-day notices quite often now. The worst situation I can think of is a couple of times they had to shut off our water to make repairs on an emergency basis. That is the absolute worst! Especially when it comes to using the facilities. I doubt you would have much recourse unless you lose a lot of food. It's just one more way the world finds to annoy us.
@pyewacket (43962)
• United States
6 Oct 07
This is one time I'm glad I don't have an electric stove..so that's one blessing! That sucks too, not to have water..and not being able to properly use the loo...LOL...mmm..if that ever happened wonder if I could use my cat's litter pan...LOL :)