How to Ask Your Landlord to Make Repairs

February 24th, 2010 by

When it comes to asking your landlord to make repairs, the success of the request depends on how it is made. If a landlord thinks that you are not going to stand up for yourself and cause a fuss, you may end up last on the list. In that scenario, other, more demanding tenants may get their repairs made first. However, if your request comes across as rude and unfair, you may also jeopardize your chances of getting a quality, quick repair.

The Initial Request

For your initial repair request, you may try catching your landlord to talk to him in person. Most landlords live on property and have designated office hours. Try to catch your landlord between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.

Let you landlord know the exact problem; also let him know what needs to be done about the situation. If you just tell your landlord that your apartment is feeling drafty, some landlords may not even recognize this as a repair request. Instead, give your landlord specifics. Let him know that the heater needs immediate repair. Be sure to explain how this is inconveniencing you, and be sure to request that it be repaired within the next couple of days. Of course, some repairs need same day repair. Let him know the time frame you expect the repair to be made within. This eliminates confusion.

Calling Your Landlord

Call the landlord as soon as the time frame expires on the requested repairs. Politely ask for an update. Personalize he conversation by stating your own personal predicament and distress caused by the needed repairs. Most landlords hope to create positive relationships with tenants, especially good ones. Regardless of how you think you’re perceived, know your rights as a tenant. You won’t win popularity with your landlord by demanding repairs as your rights, but you do want to be firm and specific. If the landlord says that he can’t get to the repairs within an acceptable amount of time, stand up for yourself. Ask for reasons why. State your needs for the repairs once again.

Follow Up

If your apartment isn’t properly repaired after your initial verbal request to the landlord, put it in writing. Be sure to mention the specifics of your initial request, including the date and what was requested (including the time frame of repair which was requested). Let your landlord know the exact problem and why you need it repaired in a timely fashion. Ask for the repair to be made within 24 hours, as per the inconvenience of the existing delay. Try to deliver the letter to the landlord in person, reiterating the request verbally as well. If not, leave the letter where the landlord will see it that same day, whether in his office or at his apartment. Keep a copy for your records. You may even wish to let the landlord know that you are also keeping a copy for your records.

Concluding the Transaction

In almost all cases, these actions will lead to your requested repairs. If it is completed to your satisfaction, make sure to seek out your landlord to personally thank him for making repairs. This can smooth over any tension caused by the landlord’s fault or delay in making those repairs.

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