Landlords are reluctant to give their time and more reluctant to open their wallets to what they often perceive to be unnecessary and unwarranted repairs.
However, if you have a legitimate gripe, you can compel your landlord to make the repairs in certain circumstances. Here are three steps you can take to resolve your landlord repair issue:
Look at your lease. Your rights as a tenant are generally contained within your lease. Your lease may state when the landlord is required to make repairs, and when you are required to make the repairs yourself. Oftentimes, the lease will provide that the landlord is responsible for making major repairs that affect things like the structure or foundation of the building, while the tenant is responsible for minor repairs like cosmetic touch-ups and holes in the wall.
Do some Internet research. There are various resources available to tenants online. These resources can cover things like your rights should a landlord fail to make necessary repairs, and even situations where a landlord is required to make the repair regardless of what the lease may say. FindLaw's Tenants' Rights section is a good place to start.
Talk to an attorney. The best way to get tailored advice to your landlord problem is to talk to an experienced landlord-tenant attorney, many of whom offer free initial consultations. Another option is to sign up for a personal legal plan so you don't have to spend a fortune to get some practical legal advice. With a plan like LegalStreet, you get unlimited phone consultations with a local lawyer. LegalStreet plans also include attorney contract reviews (up to 10 pages), so a professional can help look over your lease. You can even get an attorney to draft a letter to your landlord on your behalf. And the best part of LegalStreet is that it averages out to less than $13 per month.