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How to Handle a Landlord That Won't Care for Your Rented Property (213 hits)

Relationships between landlords and tenants are not always easy. They're even tougher, though, when the landlord refuses to deal with very real problems. Below are a few steps you should take if your landlord won't care for your rented property.

Learn Your Basic Rights

It's important to stop and think about what rights you have a tenant. In most states, you have a basic right to concepts like quiet enjoyment (that is, the ability to make reasonable use of your space) and livable conditions. You may not, however, necessarily have rights to some things that might be considered luxuries. Your landlord may be required to move quickly to repair your furnace, for example, but he or she might be within his or her rights to take a bit more time when it comes to fixing your dishwasher. Issues like internet, as well, become tricky. If you pay the internet company directly yourself, even if your lease requires you to get that particular internet service, then internet failures fall strictly between you and your provider to fix.

Check Your Lease

One of the most important documents you have when dealing with any kind of landlord/tenant relationship is your lease. While you might think of this document as something that tells you what you can and cannot do, it also often has outlines for the responsibilities of the landlord. Look in your lease to determine the timeframe in which problems are supposed to be handled and what your options are if the landlord does not hold up his or her end of the bargain.

Alert a State or Local Agency

Most states have some kind of agency that deals with the relationships between renters and landlords. If you know that the problem that you are dealing with is one that's in violation of your basic rights as a tenant, you should contact one of these agencies. The agency may then contact your landlord or even come and investigate the premises themselves, both of which can spur even the most unreasonable of landlords to action. Even if you plan to take legal matters into your own hands, filing a claim with these agencies is an important first step when your rights are violated as a tenant.

Contact an Attorney

If all else fails, you might need to contact a civil litigation lawyer to help you determine your next step. A good lawyer can help you to draft a letter to your landlord to reiterate how serious your problem might be, and the same attorney may be able to help you if you need to break your lease when the dwelling place becomes uninhabitable. If you know that you need to take a major step, consulting with a lawyer is your best choice.
Your landlord has a duty to take care of his or her property. Make sure to know your rights, your lease, and your options when it comes to dealing with repairs that need to be done in your rental home. If you know what your landlord is required to do, you'll have a much easier time convincing him or her to fulfill his or her duties.
Posted By: Hannah Whittenly
Tuesday, July 30th 2019 at 3:46PM
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