Posted on: 13 July 2015Share
Some people think the quickest and easiest way to handle landlord disputes is to file a suit in court. However, finding a way to settle your issue outside the walls of a courtroom can save you time and money. If your landlord is violating your lease agreement, is unresponsive to your maintenance needs or causing another problem, see if you can resolve the issue on your own first.
Set Up A Meeting
Certain issues are nothing more than miscommunication. Sometimes a landlord isn't fully aware of the problem you're having. This can easily be the case if you are dealing with a middleman, such as a maintenance manager or office associate. For instance, consider a water leak that caused minor damage. Upon your request, a maintenance professional repaired the leak, but after numerous requests, the actual water damage has still failed to be repaired.
Instead of going nuclear and deciding to take your landlord to court for failing to properly maintain their property, ensure your landlord actually understands what's going on. A maintenance team that is not doing their job correctly could be the real issue. Set up a meeting with the manager or owner responsible for the property to discuss your grievances and determine if they are even aware of your problem.
If you don't understand your rights, it becomes easier for someone else to violate them. Take time to educate yourself on your concern. Consider the previous example of the water damage caused by a leak. If you have confirmed the landlord is aware of your concern, but unwilling to address it, retrieve your lease agreement. Most lease agreements clearly state the requirement of the property owner to fix water related damages because of the health risk this type of issue poses, such as mold growth.
Present a copy of this section of the lease, along with pictures or other documents proving the damage to the landlord. When your landlord sees this information, they will quickly realize that you understand they are in violation and have the evidence to prove it in court. This type of awareness will often make the landlord more willing to resolve the matter as quickly as possible.
There are certain situations where trying to handle a problem on your own is not advised, such as an incidence of discrimination. With that being said, for landlords that are unresponsive after your efforts or for matters that you can't handle on your own, reach out to an attorney for assistance with enforcing your claim legally.