New landlord lives in China and we need to have our worn out front door fixed. Local property manager just called my fiancé selfish for asking about it. Options?

A bit of background. A few years ago I moved into a smug little home near downtown, Osaka. There has been a LOT of Air BnB activity around this area, with a lot of Chinese owners buying up places to rent out to tourists. Now when we moved in, we signed our contract with a Japanese company who were very punctual and helpful the one and only time we needed them to deal with an issue (the neighbor was doing a bit of home improvement and unknowingly wsent water leaking into our place through our electric breaker. Freaked me the hell out, but the landlords were there in minutes talking to the guy). The place is far from perfect, but the price is really good for the extremely convenient location.

A year later, the property changed ownership. The new owner lives in China, with some kind of an agent managing properties here in Japan. This agent is, as far as we know, our new acting landlord. Unfortunately, he’s a bit less than helpful than the people we had before. After the big typhoon last year, for example, we tried to have him swing by to look at some weird flooding we had going on (water running down the walls, making water bubbles under the wallpaper). At first he’d tell us he was a bit busy, that he would call us back later, and then he would just disappear for hours until we called again. It took us a few weeks of persistent calling to get him to actually show up and take a look. By that time, the walls had all dried up. He pretty much just scooped the gutter once then left.

Another time we were contacted by our neighbor because the block we live on was having a sewage issue and they wanted everyone to pitch in to have it professionally assessed. Again, we contacted this guy who tried to brush us off. Knowing what was coming, we just handed the phone to our neighbor who is, luckily for us, a bit more stubborn than we are and managed to get exactly what she needed from him on her first try.

Fast forward to this week and our door look has been acting up. Today it finally just stuck in place and wouldn’t budge. I literally had to take it apart with a screwdriver and put it back together just to get out to go to work, and of course it got stuck again immediately after. My fiancé took a half day off in order to get a replacement priced (should be about 25,000 total) and call the landlord guy. This time he pretty much told her that she was being “selfish” and the malfunctioning door preventing her from entering or leaving the premises wasn’t his problem. Something along the lines of “you’re only calling me because you don’t want to pay for it”. I’m kind of confused because, well yeah, I thought that taking care of these kinds of things was exactly the responsibility of the property owner -the guy who takes the largest chunk of my paycheck every month. Apparently, he made it seem as if contacting the owner in China for money was too a big hassle than what it’s worth.

Anyway it pissed her off so she had her father roll over and oil it up a bit. It seems to be working for now, and she done with having to deal with the landlord guy at this point. Now, I’m a bit on edge about this landlord guy and I’m realizing that I don’t really know enough about this stuff to take care of us if something worse happens with the property and he just flat out refuses to help. I’m coming to this sub because I don’t even know where to start in terms of looking out for ourselves, and I’m seeking any advice one can offer (even if it means I’m totally in the wrong here and ought to fork up for the new lock). A sincere thanks to anyone willing to take the time to read and reply to this.

submitted by /u/Eggyhead
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