You’ve tried calling, texting, even tweeting, but to no avail. You’re having issues with your rental, but your landlord isn’t responding. Whether your toilets leaking or you’re looking to get out of your lease, you need to talk with your landlord to handle the situation properly. If you’ve tried every means of communication and you still can’t get their attention, here’s how to handle an unresponsive landlord.
If you’re out of hot water or there’s a gas leak on the property, you need to notify your landlord right away. As a landlord, they’re obligated to make these repairs to the property to ensure your health and safety. These types of situations include:
- Heating, water, or electrical problems
- Mold or fungus growth
- Bug infestations
- Roofing or other structural issues
In addition to your calls and texts, make sure you have a written repair request sent to your landlord. This could serve as legal proof down the line. Often, your lease specifies the types of communication that serve as “official written notice,” so make sure to look at your lease and ensure you’re taking every possible measure to talk with your landlord. If you fear your landlord won’t open the official document you send, you can have it shipped via registered mail so that they have to sign for the letter.
Once you’ve tried these communication methods, you have the legal right to:
- Alert health or building inspectors
- Break your lease (contact an attorney first)
- Sue the landlord
Keep records of all of the times you’ve reached out to your landlord to show that you’ve done your part in attempting to repair the property. This documentation could help you in court. In any case, never withhold rent or attempt to repair the problem yourself in these situations. Pay rent and send written requests to your landlord asking them to do their job instead.
Damage to the Property
Burst pipes? Leaky faucet? Broken water heater? No rental is indestructible. If your rental is damaged because your landlord hasn’t been paying attention to the property, you could be reimbursed for the damages.
Like emergency situations, contact your landlord via written requests. Again, it is your landlord’s responsibility to maintain the property they are renting out. If the damage is caused by an “Act of God,” they aren’t responsible. As a renter, it’s always good to have a renter’s insurance policy to protect your personal things in these situations.
Whether you simply want to catch up or have the mailbox replaced, a renter needs to chat with their landlord every now and again. If yours is ignoring even the simplest of requests, here’s what you can do.
In most cases, your landlord isn’t obligated to handle any repairs or modifications that aren’t deemed essential. Cosmetic issues with the property are open to interpretation and therefore harder to have handled in most cases. Look at your lease or rental agreement to see what things are covered in your contract. Sometimes a landlord will make these small repairs if you bring them to their attention.
You Caused the Problem
Did you host a party where things got a bit out of control? Is there now a hole in the wall where your television used to be? You need to contact your landlord right away to see how to handle the situation, but they’re unresponsive.
In most of these cases, if you’ve caused the damage, your landlord doesn’t have to take care of it. You are responsible as a renter to make the repairs or risk losing your security deposit when you move out.