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What to Do About an Unresponsive Landlord

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The TrustDALE investigative team often gets complaints involving landlord-tenant disputes. Sometimes, the issues are serious, like faulty utilities or even mold. But what these letters all have in common is that people want to know what they can do!

What’s The Law?

Each state has a set of landlord-tenant laws. While the specifics can vary from state to state, the general idea of the law is to keep both landlords and their tenants safe. As such, landlords are generally required to keep their properties safe and in good repair, maintain electricity, heating, and plumbing, and make repairs in a reasonable time frame. 

What Tenants Can Do

If you have an issue, report it to your landlord right away, via writing. Email is a great way to do this because you’ll still be able to access the message you write. You should also include photos or even videos of the problem, if possible. If you don’t hear anything, follow up with a phone call or a face-to-face visit. 

While you wait, take a look at your lease agreement. It might tell you what your landlord will or will not repair. For example, if your landlord provided the refrigerator in your home, then they’re responsible for it if it needs a repair. However, if you purchased the refrigerator and moved it in, it’s your responsibility to get it fixed. 

Further Steps

If you aren’t getting anywhere with your landlord, you have a few options. You can file a lawsuit, asking a judge to force the landlord to pay for any damage or repairs. You can also reach out to your local code enforcement office through your city, county, or state. Landlords have to follow the law, and a visit from an inspector may force your landlord’s hand. Or, you can move out. However, if you break your lease before the term is complete, you may still legally be on the hook for the remainder of the rent. 

How TrustDALE Can Help

If you feel you’ve exhausted your options, TrustDALE may be able to help. Our team has helped resolve many landlord-tenant disputes. If you think we can help, simply submit a help request on the TrustDALE website, and our investigative team will look into your case.