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House garage unusable

Question

Hi Expats community,

I have a question for you, last February I rented an house.

The house has got a garage, but the day that I moved in I found out that the old garage ramp was a bit to steep to be able with a normal car to enter the garage.

Neither the landlord neither the agancy told me about this issue.

Practically only an SUV can drive on the ramp without getting stuck and enter the garage.

It is since February that the landlord claims that she did not know about this issue because the previous tenants did not tell her, but she told me also that she was going to fix the ramp.

I sent her several reminders and I waited until now but it is almost 1 year that I am without the garage and I would like to know if there is something that I can do to solve this issue faster.

Do you have any suggestion?

Is there a tenants association which I can contact for help?

Thanks

Massimo

becasse

Frankly, the slope to access the garage must have been obvious when you viewed the house and yet you rented it. If, as you say, the slope is a problem, you have only yourself to blame and I am surprised that the landlord even considered the possibility of remedying the situation at his own expense (and I am not at all surprised at the subsequent inactivity).

Most Belgians keep anything but their car in their garages (multiple crates of beer are the most common occupants where I live) so it isn't surprising that neither the landlord nor his agent were seemingly unaware. Even if they had known, they were under no obligation to tell you as it is an obvious "defect" - that is what you have eyes for.

Nov 12, 2017 17:46
MMassimo

Hi Becasse,

Thanks for your comment.

The ramp is slightly sank and that is making it impossible for a normal car to drive it over, it is probably a difference in slope of just 5 degrees and not more.

Difficult to evaluate 5 degrees difference without technical equipment.

I should have tried it, but I did not try the toilets as well... likely the toilets are working otherwise you would have told me that it is my problem now :).

I would like to get a professional feedback and that is it.

If an expert will tell me that there is nothing to do I will accept it.

Thanks again

Nov 12, 2017 18:38
yttap

Did you rent direct or via an agency who prepared the lease? Did you have a joint état des lieux done by an expert? I suggest you read the details in both the lease and the expert’s report. Has the lease been registered? Have you got a tenant’s insurance? Seems to me that the house and the garage ought to be in a fit state for use. If the ramp has sunk, then that’s structural, and the owner should solve it. Have you got copies of the correspondence with the landlord or has the exchange been done orally? Have you got in writing that she would fix the problem? If yes to all those questions, maybe this needs mediation by the Juge de Paix?

Nov 12, 2017 22:20
MMassimo

Thsnks a lot,

All answers to your questions are yes.
We got an agency, she wrote to me in emails and sms that would have been fixed by October... not sure if this can be considered official communication.
I went to the municipality to register myself within 1 month from the move, so I considered registered from my side.
Maybe indeed I should go to the juge de paix.
I found on the internet that the consumers association is the eccbelgium, I will ask them of there is a specific tenants association or they will be able to support me prior the juge de paix.
I will write what is there answer to complete this q&a.

Nov 13, 2017 07:03
I

Has the lease been registered not you.

Nov 14, 2017 02:37
CC_R

Ok we had a very difficult landlady who disnt fix items that were agreed on in writting in the tenancy. We started by sending them a registered letter which says you agreed to do this in you case state I have your emails. Give a short time frame maybe two months and say if you don’t fix this issue by this date I will withhold rent until it fixed. We did exactly this. Go to the bank set up an account and pay your rent into that from the date specified. We also did this and then if they take you to court you have proof I didn’t pay because they didn’t do this not because I’m broke. Be prepared it will piss then off we were asked to leave after the three years was up for being difficult but she did do the repairs quickly once we stopped paying her

Nov 14, 2017 08:13
MMassimo

Thank you guys,

In the meantime I sent an email to Consumerombudsman.

I will let you know if they will answer me.

Cheers

Nov 14, 2017 17:46