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When Requests For Repairs Are Unresponsive

Mar 2, 2008
As much as we wish life would go smooth all the time things don't always work out that way. If you live in an apartment, for example, you might find an unpleasant surprise in the apartment that may require a repair. Imagine a leaky ceiling or a garbage disposal that wasn't working. Clearly, you would need these problems addressed and this is where the landlord comes into play. Well, hopefully. Sometimes a landlord can be a little slow on the draw when it comes to making repairs. In such an instance, a few deliberate steps need to be taken to get them to move and a few of those steps will be presented here.

Let's get something out of the way right off the bat: your relationship with your landlord should never be combative. That is to say, if there are repairs that need to be done it is not always smart to be overly demanding. Well, if a pipe burst and there is only one feet of space between the water and the ceiling you might want to be a little forceful. But, if things are not an emergency it is best to be a little patient as landlords and apartment maintenance people are sometimes overwhelmed. But, if they are not responding to your requests to make repairs within a reasonable amount of time then you may need to take it to the next level. Remember, the landlord does have an obligation to make necessary repairs for common wear and tear on the apartment so it is well within your rights to expect an adequate response to common problems.

The first step in an instance of non-action would be to send a letter in writing to the landlord. This will provide documentary evidence that you have notified the landlord of all the problems that need to be addressed. (The letter should itemize all the problems clearly) If needed, you may have to call in a building inspector to itemize the various problems. Then, provide the landlord with a reasonable amount of time to launch the repair work. If no action is taken by the landlord, then you may have to weigh the option of taking legal action.

Of course, taking legal action will probably harm the tenant-landlord relationship and this need to be taken into consideration before moving the situation into the courts. Then again, if you are at the verge of taking legal action the relationship probably has already been seriously damaged.

Hopefully, it will not have to come to that. If you do want work performed on you apartment expeditiously then the best way to go about it is to be a good tenant. Remember, landlords perpetually have to deal with problem tenants who are loud, belligerent, late on rent, even involved in illegal activity. If you are an honest, considerate tenant who always on time with your rent you will generally be treated well. So, be a good tenant and you will be rewarded with good treatment from the landlord.
About the Author
James Mattox is the founder and CEO of WhatsTheRent.com, a 100% free site to search for roommates, apartments, houses, condos and more. Free and user friendly to either list a property for rent or search for a new place to call home. If it is for rent, you can find it at WhatsTheRent.com
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