What can you do if your rental property needs repair and the landlord is ignoring your requests? Before we go any further understand that in virtually every state, the landlord is not required to repairing damages done by the tenant or their guests. In the event that you broke it you should fix it. Small cosmetic repairs are usually not covered. So don’t stop paying rent because you have a chip in your kitchen cabinet or the rugs are messy.
The first step is to call the landlord and report the repairs needed. You must also send a detailed letter. In the letter be clear and precise regarding the repairs. Stick to the facts and don’t go off on a long rant. In the event that the repairs are not finished, this letter may get to be proof in court.
We strongly suggest sending the letter by certified mail and keep a copy of the letter for your records. Many states have deadlines by which the repairs must be finished, the letter will start the clock. A phone call is insufficient, because a landlord can simply claim he never got any phone calls.
Not all state or county laws allow the accompanying. There is a connection at the end of the article to discover your states laws regarding repairs. We cannot stress enough the importance of contacting an attorney prior to initiating any self-help remedies. There are usually free legal services in most areas that can give you guidance. On the off chance that the repairs are life threatening, you should move out and contact your local code implementation office or health department.
Repair and Deduct
In some states you are allowed to make repairs and deduct the costs from your rent. Many states constrain the amount you can deduct for repairs. Prior to doing the repairs yourself, you need to educate the landlord in writing of the repairs needed and allow sufficient time for the landlord to make the repairs. In the event that the repairs remain unresolved then send another letter educating the landlord you plan to have the repairs made and deduct them from the rent.
You should get three estimates in writing from licensed professionals, and get a copy of the contractor’s license and any permits, if required. In the event that the landlord takes you to court you should bring all of this information.
Once the repairs are finished send a copy of the receipt for the repairs and copies of the estimates to your landlord along with a letter illuminating them of the amount that will be deducted from the rent. Retain copies of all that you send to the landlord.
Essential services such as heat, hot water and utilities (if the landlords is responsible for them) must be maintained by the landlord under virtually every state law. Contact your local health department or code authorization department if the landlord fails to maintain essential services. The agencies will usually inspect the property and advise the landlord of the violations. On the off chance that they still fail to make the repairs or restore services, the remedies stated above may be used if allowed in your jurisdiction.
We are not suggesting breaking your lease. In any case on the off chance that you are having repair issues and your lease is about to terminate or you are month to month, you should consider moving. Failure to maintain a property is an indication the landlord is having financial difficulties. More problems will arise. You don’t want your quality of life impacted because of your landlords financial problems.