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How to Get Your Landlord to Make Repairs

By Andrew Lu on July 09, 2012 6:59 AM

Leaky faucet keeping you up all night? Your shower goes from freezing cold to scalding hot one second to the next? You need to wear a parka inside your apartment to keep warm?

If you answered "yes" to any of these questions and have had no luck in getting your landlord to act, you'll want to keep reading these tips on how to get your landlord to make apartment repairs.

The first thing you should do is raise the problem with your landlord. Whether you want to drop by the management office in person or write a letter to the landlord, you should let them know what the condition is and what you want them to do.

If your landlord ignores you, you have to start getting serious. Now, make sure you put down your complaints in writing. If you can point to specific repair provisions in the lease, you'll certainly want to include those provisions in the letter. Think of this letter as evidence, should you ever have to fight it out with your landlord in a legal action.

Hopefully, with a written complaint and your lease provisions backing you up, your landlord would have been motivated to make those apartment repairs. If the landlord still ignores you, you should think about withholding rent. Each state has different rules regarding rental withholding, but usually there is some provision that you don't have to pay if your apartment is uninhabitable. Just first check with an attorney on whether your complaints are serious enough to warrant such action.

In extreme cases, you may also want to report your landlord to authorities if health or safety codes are being violated. In addition, you may consider suing your landlord. If you have reached any of these steps, it's best that you have legal counsel.

We get it, getting landlord apartment repairs can be a hassle. Usually a letter and kind word can get the ball rolling. But with stubborn landlords, you may need to hit them where it hurts most -- their pocketbooks.

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