Landlord Repair Request

Four Ways To Get Your Landlord To Address and Fix Minor Repairs To Your Rental Unit

It can sometimes be difficult to enforce the rights you have for minor repairs than it is for the major ones. Tenants who reside in rundown dwellings can, by law, decide not to pay rent or use the money to repair the major problem and deduct that from the rent. However, this kind of action, if the problem is minor, can get a tenant evicted. However, you do have some strategies at your disposal to get those minor problems repaired.

1 – Write Your Landlord A Repair Request

You might have asked your landlord to deal with the problem but make sure you have it written down and given to him/her too. This allows you to clearly articulate the issue you are having and why you believe it’s in the landlord’s interest to get it repaired. When you inform the reluctant landlord in writing, it allows him/her to think about it without the expectations of giving an immediate answer.

Come up with several themes in the letter. An effective tactic is to talk about how the problem can become worse and more expensive to your landlord…especially if it’s left unrepaired for a certain period of time. For example, if you have a leaky pipe, he/she’s not likely to fix it right away unless you make him/her aware of the possibility of further damage from the leaking pipe such as floor damage, wood damage, etc.

You can also catch their attention by noting the increase possibility of an injury if there is no repair. Injuries due to the negligence of a landlord means the landlord will be responsible for it. Make your landlord aware of possible security issues such as faulty lighting, broken locks, etc. If the issue is likely to affect his/her other tenants, make them aware of it.

2 – Consider Mediation

If both oral and written communications are ignored, it’s time to get in touch with a mediation service. This service will invite your landlord to meet with the trained mediator and yourself. This mediator will assist the both of you to come to a mutually agreed resolution. However, they’re not likely to impose a solution themselves. Quite a few communities offer mediation services for free or for a low fee. It’s certainly an alternative than going to court.

3 – Housing Agency/Building Reporting

You also have the option of contacting the local building and/or housing agency about your landlord. Some very minor issues could violate building codes so call the agency in your area to learn if your problem is a code violation. Officials will take a look to determine if the issue is a local or state violation. It’s possible they’ll take action against the landlord.

Bear in mind this: if you do report your landlord, you’re not going to improve the relationship at all. This can be bad if you plan to stay in the rental unit for a bit of time. Your state’s anti-retaliation” rental unit law won’t be able to save a relationship.

4 – Sue The Landlord

Take your landlord to court. If you’re able to prove your case in court about the problems you’re experiencing, a judge is likely to award you the difference of what you’re paying for your rent and in the amount the rental unit is worth. Suing a landlord is not the best option if you’re looking to save the relationship. However, if you’ve done everything you can and you can’t move, then this could be the best thing for you.