Still Have Problems in Your Rental Residence and Landlord has Done Nothing?

For whatever reason, a landlord doesn’t always get around to doing what he or she promises. When this happens, a tenant becomes increasingly irritated. The phone calls to the office become frequent, in -person visits become argumentative, and threats start coming in like a flood! It doesn’t have to come to this, but since a landlord isn’t doing what is asked. There are some things tenants can do, but you have to be sure that what you are requesting is affecting your health and/or safety. Check your lease to be certain that the landlord responsibilities are outlined. In some cases, if the information is not stated in the lease contract such as, landlord is responsible for repairing or maintaining XYZ. Then it is up to the tenant to ensure that repairs are made. If something was already damaged before you moved in and the landlord promised to have it fixed and didn’t, yet you moved in anyway, he or she doesn’t have to fix it especially if you have no proof that the promise was made.

Writing a dated letter including things like: details of the problems, when contact was made with the office and the results or lack thereof is essential. Give a reasonable amount of time for the landlord to respond to letter. If there is no response, then escalate the matter. From contacting the owner to making an appointment with your local housing code inspector, you will want to get others involved. You will also need to read your state’s landlord tenant handbook to find out if you are able to do any of the following. Each option comes with a risk. A landlord can sue for rent payments, keep the security deposit, your credit history might be negatively impacted, and other issues might result if you can’t prove that your unit was inhabitable, affected your health or safety, or the landlord told you he or she would take care of repairs, but didn’t. You also don’t want to hold back all of your rent and avoid paying, damage the unit intentionally or try to fix things yourself without having proper knowledge, or do other similar things out of anger, because these actions might look like you were being unreasonable and acted in spite if you should go to court. The following are your options:

1. Repair and deduct a portion of rent.

Notify your landlord in writing BEFORE you have repairs made, await a response. State in your correspondence you will be deducting the repair cost from the rent. Keep receipts.

2. Abandon the rental.

You can move out the unit, but once again you will have to let your landlord know you will be vacating in 30 days.

3. Set up an escrow account.

You may withhold about 25% of the rent and put the rest in the account until repairs are made. However, do notify the landlord this is your intent and again await a response.

Learn more about your tenant rights by putting “tenant landlord rights” and include your state.

Nicholl McGuire maintains and contributes to other blogs as well. See Laboring to Love an Abusive Mate and a blog for families with mixed age groups from babies to teens

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Over 20 years office work experience, six years completed college coursework, background in print media and communications, recognized for exceptional attendance and received merit increase for past job performance, self-published author and part-time entrepreneur, Internet marketing and social media experience. Interned for non-profit organization, women's group and community service business. Additional experience: teaching/training others, customer service and sales. Learn more at Nicholl McGuire and Nicholl McGuire Media