Heating Not Working - Should I Pay Rent In Full?

Girino

Registered
We rented our first place in Argentina last month, and so far it was cold for a few days, only. We discovered heating was not working about 3-4 weeks after we signed the contract (first 2 weeks we worked on the apartment and did not actually lived there).
We called the landlord who called the plumber, who then referred to a specialized plumber because the boiler was okay and so the issue is in the piping.

The expert said that they used crappy pipes with a plastic linen, and that with hot water the plastic dilated, then broke and now when the water passes through, it lifts the plastic, clogging the pipe. The expert said that this kind of pipes were meant for floor heating and not regular heating (make sense, since floor heating uses water at lower temps) and he saw that in other places, too. So the piping should be redone, and the landlord is okay with this because he said he bought the apartment with a 10 years guarantee by the manufacturer, so he is not supposed to pay a dime.

Now it's been a month since we made the landlord aware of the problem, and he suggested us to buy a portable heater while he figures out with the building administrator and the manufacturer/guarantor about the replumbing. We lent a small portable heater from a family member, but it is small and our place is like a loft, so there is a huge open space on two levels and it is not enough (not to mention that we work at home, and staying sat all day in cold feels even colder). We have two A/C units, one came with the house and the other we bought it from the previous tenant (who said that one had heating capability, which turned out being FALSE).

Of course, I don't think anybody tried to scam anybody, but the fact is that we are and will be without heating and the weather forecast says temperatures will be dropping soon. I am not okay with a place missing heating - of course, if we had know this BEFORE renting, we wouldn't have rented this place.
And I don't like the idea of spending weeks with plumbers coming and going, either (works are likely to be dragging for weeks, we are in Argentina!).

So my question is: should we pay the rent in full? For me, replumbing is a major work on the house and it doesn't allow to enjoy the apartment fully. Not to mention that being an open space, I don't know where we are supposed to stay while they work. The plumber said that instead of breaking walls and replacing old tubes, he could simply put new tubes outside the wall, and then a layman should cover them with plasterboard.
Whatever, it looks likes a mess, and a mess that is not being dealt with in a timely manner!

And on the minus side, we are waiting for a layman to repair the roof, and then the painter to redone where water infiltrated. :angry: :angry: :angry:
 

Bairesgirl

Veteran
Ron,

you signed a 6 month contract I assume? and you have a copy?
Have you already paid in full? is there a rescision clause/penalty?

August is the coldest month of the year here and, especially if you spend all day (working & living).
And you will have to bear the replacing of the pipeline, and roof repair and painting redone in some parts as you mention.
Not knowing time frames involved (or having an idea but no knowing if they will be met)

I would find a way out of the contract and find a new appartment
But that is just me..
 

French jurist

Registered
Also, if it's some kind of monoambiente with no wall between the kitchen and the living space, you can use the oven to heat the room with the door open (assuming you don't pay for the gas). Immediate solution to get at least some heat. But you likely thought about that already.
 

Girino

Registered
We have a standard 2 years contract, we gave a 1 month deposit, we pay our rent on a month-to-month basis, and every 6 months there is a +15% adjustment.
Everything is on paper and registered (we rented through an agency). We have to give a 2 months notice before leaving, and we just spent $1000 just to fix the place (painting, buying some furnitures, activating Internet, etc.) and we like the place/location.

It would be okay if the landlord simply installed a heating unit instead of A/C only, or those electric panels they use here, but he would have to pay for those from his own pocket.
 

Girino

Registered
Also, if it's some kind of monoambiente with no wall between the kitchen and the living space, you can use the oven to heat the room with the door open (assuming you don't pay for the gas). Immediate solution to get at least some heat. But you likely thought about that already.
I baked a lot during the past cold days to heat the place (yes, it is open between the kitchen and the living room/main space). I believe we pay for gas, we have been here for 2 months only!
 
As i understand it any issues with your landlord where you might consider non-payment of your rent should be advised via "carto documento" , at least, that's how I was advised (by a lawyer) to proceed with reporting issues we have not been able to resolve with our building administration.

You can pick up a form from the correo argentino. Get some advice on how to complete it then send it. All pretty cheap. It's an officially recorded letter with some legal standing which serves to document that you have registered your complaint. If you dont pay, it would be useful to have a document recorded where you have notified the landlord of your problem and notified him of his responsibility to fix it or compensate you.

If you are going to break your contract it would be useful to legal notify him why you are doing so.
 
Personally, I would move. If there are many problems in the beginning, and the landlord doesn´t want to get a heater, I don´t think the situation is going to get better.
If you really want to stay, your husband who is Argentine should call him up and say that you need to have a discount while the repairs are being made and you need a heater immediately. If the landlord doesn´t respond, one option would be to purchase the heater you want (btw, the ac splits with heat option aren´t the best, they only provide heat while turned on so they don´t warm up the house like a gas heater does), keep the receipt and deduct out of the rent, all done via carta documento. Remember, carta documento is the first step in a lawsuite, so use it if talking breaks down.
 
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