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03 Jan 2012
Horror Story.. Cost of housing repair when Leaving Naples, Italy Support Site

Over the last three years we have acquired quite a bit of items that are damaged by wind,  by simple mechanical failure, or accidental damage. I have  heard plenty of horror stories of people having to pay thousands of dollars to replace the dameged items in the house such as---Broken armoire(made of particle board) (1000 euro) ----glass light fixtures(40 euro for just a cover)---- outside screens that have been ripped, torn by wind or other causes(70 euro each).. etc.. ---  Crack in front large door (???). Thanks everyone----Does anyone know that validity of this issue and why we are allowed to be responsible for overpriced damaged estimates. Are there any alternateive options.. Thanks!

04 Jan 2012
Re: Horror Story.. Cost of housing repair when Leaving Naples, Italy Support Site

Unfortunately this may be one of those Inflate-A-Stories. Portions may be true but exaggerated from miscommunication, anger/indignation, hearsay or the desire to tell a great tale. Let's call it Sideview Mirror Conversations. The particulars may be less interesting than in real life.By law, the government and any authorized contractors are not allowed to charge more than an actual replacement or repair cost. Not only does that mean they must produce the GSA or other purchase order/invoice for items you may have to pay for, you can also do your own research online for the same or 'materially similar' items. The GSA catalogs are online for anyone to view. And the nice people at the NEX furniture department have wonderful catalogs for those spiffy anti-Ethan Allen armoires. (Tax and shipping/handling can not be included.) And if you're stuck with a repair bill, you are entitled to a copy of the invoice for that payment as well as the prevailing wage rate for hours/materials used.You can't be charged for 'normal wear and tear' items and reasonable/customary refurbishment between tenants such as repainting (after more than one year). The key here is to read (more than four times, sober, without kids/pets/spouse/coworkers in the vicinity) your Housing Contract until you really know what is says.And when leaving any property you don't own, you need to get the checklist you filled out when you moved in (the one where you listed everything that was wrong in the unit) and your own list and either a digital camera or a video camera. Document everything you think might be a problem and take the list to someone up the Chain of Command in that particular area. For furniture/appliance issues, that would probably be the Housing Warehouse. For everything else, the people at the Housing Welcome Center are the ones who are paid to assist and resolve problems on and off base.  During your residency, if anything breaks, cracks, leaks, wears out, etc., the first thing to do is notify someone (Warehouse and/or Welcome Center, etc.), document exactly who you spoke with, date/time. Write down what the problem is, what it affects, if someone in the home was responsible in any way, what you should do to correct it and most importantly, any repair or replacement cost if it was indeed a problem caused by you, your family, an authorized visitor or a pet. Write down the response from whoever you speak with and follow up if needed. Safeguard your digital photos and paperwork by scanning to your hard drive and sending from one email address to another. This is so you always have the information even if your computer, hard drives, flash drives, filing cabinets are stolen. (Personal knowledge. Courtesy of PCS to Naples government storage followed by two weeks after moving in.)This is not a situation when you want to rely on your charming personality or the kindness of strangers. Because strange things do happen here. And with all bureaucracies (this includes governments), your best insurance policy is documentation and names. It does wonders if you need to go through Legal/JAG. Good luck.