Put It in Writing
One of the first steps in getting repairs made is to inform the landlord about the problem. To notify your landlord about a specific problem in your unit, simply send a letter stating:
- Your name and address
- What the problem is
- When the problem was discovered
- Date by which you want the repair made
Sign the letter and address it to your landlord. Keep a copy for yourself as proof. Send the letter by certified mail, return receipt requested.
Tenants are responsible for giving the landlord notice of any repairs that are needed to the property. This is particularly true where the defect (such as a water leak) will cause additional damage unless it is promptly repaired.
If your landlord simply refuses to make needed repairs. you can consider withholding rent to make repairs. This action is called “repair and deduct.”
Some rules to follow for repair and deduct are:
- The repairs that are needed must be serious enough to affect the tenant’s health or well-being.
- The tenant must first request that repairs be made and allow a reasonable amount of time for the repair to be made.
- After a reasonable amount of time, the tenant can have a repair made and use part or all of the rent. The cost of the repair must be reasonable. Notify the landlord of this action.
- The tenant can then withhold the cost of the repair from the next’s month rent and provide a copy of the receipt to the landlord.