Missing Maintenance? What to Do When Your Landlord Doesn’t Take Care of Your Rental

We’ve all had to deal with an unforgiving landlord. However, not all of us were able to do anything about it. Instead, we were forced to live in a run-down rental with no way out other than waiting for the lease to end. Here is what you can do if your landlord won’t take care of your rental.

Let the Landlord Know

Before moving in, always make sure that you get a hold of the landlord’s name, address, and phone number. In addition, ask them who you can contact for any repairs. A landlord is mandated by law to let tenants take a look at the apartment before deciding to move in. If you happen to ask the landlord for an inspection, know that it’s also mandatory for the landlord to give you an agreement. Check to see if the agreement has a list of any damages or recurring issues. Should your landlord refrain from helping you repair them, then you have documented proof that there are problems with the apartment.

Contact an Inspector

Unfortunately, there could be times where your landlord won’t fix the issue. If this does happen, you need to contact a building inspector. A lot of tenants tend to shy away from calling an inspector because they’re afraid of being evicted. However, tenants do have rights as well. It’s illegal for a landlord to evict a tenant because of a complaint about unfit living conditions. A civil litigation lawyer can help you navigate the legal process, especially if you’re experiencing push-back from your landlord.

Withholding the Rent

Withholding rent may be extreme if you only have a leaky faucet or your AC doesn’t work blow enough cold air. However, if there are problems in the apartment that are risking your health, then it’s within your rights to withhold rent. But before you do, you need to notify your landlord in writing about why you’re not paying your rent. You also need to clearly state what needs repaired and how long you’ve been asking for assistance. You should also include photo documentation in your correspondence. Save records of your correspondence in case of litigation.

Be Your Own Advocate

Being a tenant doesn’t mean you don’t have rights. To avoid conflict with your landlord, research their rental history. If you find court cases of where they failed to make necessary repairs for other tenants, it’s in your best interest to move on.

If you’re already renting the space and can’t come to a peaceful solution, do what you need to do ensure you’re being allowed your legal rights.

Addy Reeds is a freelance writer from Eugene, Oregon. She discovered her passion for journalism while attending the University of Oregon. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook: @addyreeds1; https://www.facebook.com/addy.reeds