How to Deal with an Unreasonable Landlord

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How to Deal with an Unreasonable Landlord

Staff Writer · Oct 16, 2009

The last thing you ever want to deal with while you’re renting, is an unreasonable landlord. The reality is that you may come across one in your apartment renting experience, if that’s not your current situation. Here’s how to deal with it.

Don’t Get into Arguments

Fighting with your landlord will only keep you up at night. No matter how tempting it is, don’t engage in any verbal warfare. Instead, calmly spell out your issues and concerns in writing, and keep any negative emotions you may be feeling out of it. This will help you to document everything pertaining to your disputes, and it may protect you legally should your landlord start eviction proceedings. Your landlord may also receive a letter much better than a face-to-face confrontation, and it could open the door to a peaceful resolution.

Refer to the Lease Agreement

If your landlord is unreasonable about something that you have the right to under the lease agreement, simply refer back to your lease. For example, if you landlord is non-responsive to your requests to make repairs, send him a letter and attach a copy of the lease agreement highlighting any clauses on maintenance and repairs. If a verbal confrontation is unavoidable, refer to the agreement often, reminding him of any obligations due under the lease. Follow up with a written letter, along with the applicable excerpt from your lease agreement.

Take Pictures

You have to be prepared at all times for an unreasonable landlord to find ways to end your lease agreement. A lease termination may not be an option for you when conflicts arise, due to your job, school or family responsibilities. You may have to do all that you can to stay where you are until your circumstances change. Therefore, take pictures in addition to written communications, to document problems with your apartment. You can use a digital camera to take photos or video of the damages or repairs that haven’t been taken care of. You should also take pictures when you’re ready to hand over the keys of the apartment to your landlord, as you move out. You’ll need those if there’s a dispute over your security deposit.

Go to the Top

Sometimes, you’re dealing with an unreasonable property manager who is acting as your landlord. If you’ve done all you can to resolve disputes in a professional manner, it’s time to go to the actual owner of the property. Send them copies of all written and photo documents you have and ask them to intervene. Stress in your letter that you’ve attempted to resolve the issues with the manager and that you need their help for a resolution. You may find a reasonable landlord who can intervene and take care of your issues without threat of eviction.

If none of these guidelines help you in your situation, it may be time to move. An unreasonable landlord may be so determined to get you out of an apartment, that no amount of documentation and reasonable written requests will stop him from making your life miserable.

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