How to Deal with an Unreasonable Landlord

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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.


3 Responses to “How to Deal with an Unreasonable Landlord”

  1. January 18, 2010 at 12:40 pm, Jen said:

    I live in Colorado. When I moved into this apartment they never bothered to disclose the way the utilities were dealt with until after the lease was signed and I went to call the utility company to transfer. I was told they had no listing here. So I went back to the managers office and then they explained they should have disclosed to me that the utilities are all on one bill and it is divided among the tenants. Which I am finding quite unfair as my electric bill has been running 150-200 + a month and I do not even use that much. I never paid that much when I was living in my house with gas and electric. I have no idea what my rent is going to be every month because I get the bill 2 days before it is due with the new utility charges on it. As far as I knew it wasn’t legal for an apartment manager to still deal with utilities this way.

    Upon moving in, and I never saw the apartment they put me in. I haven’t been really happy. The place was disgusting. I had to wait to move in for a few days because I complained about the place and they had someone come in and clean it.

    Since then it has been one issue after the next. My heater was so noisy that I couldn’t hear anything. They have worked on it for a year. Finally they have gotten it fixed after code enforcement had to be notified by my sons school. Now I am dealing with a plumbing issue for 5 months. I have continuously asked in writing, verbally in person and over the phone for this toilet to be dealt with. It over flows constantly. They have come up and snaked it several times. They have pulled it once and snaked it again. Still with no results. The maintenance told me he didnt know what else to do but to replace the toilet. That was a month ago. I have contacted them 3 times since with the same issue.

    The smoke detectors in the hallway are laying in the window sill with no battery in them. They are not functional that way. So if there is a fire we will no even be aware of it.

    They came in before Thanksgiving (2009) and tore my ceiling down in my living room. A 3 ft by 11 foot section that was coming down. They told me they would be here the following week to re-texture it and repaint it. It is now January 18, 2010 and I am still waiting.

    The windows are single paned and they leak so badly because the place is about 50 years old. I have had to cover my windows with plastic to retain part of the heat in here. This also raised the electric bills and nothing is being done about it.

    The hot water in the complex is not even up to regulation standard. They have been having issues with the pump that has the hot water. I complained once because I had no hot water. I told them again and they told me of the issue and the owner was aware of it. That has been several months ago and I am assuming it is still not fixed because I still take mostly luke warm showers. I cannot even do my dishes today unless I boil water.
    When our first lease was up it was middle of winter and I was unable to find a new place to move so we signed another lease but shorter, but these issues were supposed to be dealt with. I am still waiting. I am now 2 months into the new lease. Today I went down and took another maintenance request to the office for the plumbing and the ceiling. Also the water supply not being hot enough. She said the supervisor would be in today. We have changed managers so many times over the last year I don’t even know who the new one is. On this paper I stated if it is not dealt with I will have no choice but to call code enforcement. I also have a copy of the paper to give to code enforcement as they told me before to keep a copy and if it is not done to call them back.
    At this point I am fed up with the situation here. Nothing is getting done and I can live in another apartment for less money and not have these issues.


  2. December 17, 2012 at 2:10 pm, margaret said:

    Please do yourself a favor and move- before you rent again you write up a list and get the new ll to sign it————– if you have constant water you probably have mold-


  3. December 17, 2012 at 2:17 pm, margaret said:

    I am SO sorry you sound like a good person who is dealing with Bad people- whether they are just totally incompetent or cheap or bet on getting someone in who may not be able to find another apartment- please get out- the emotional toll is way too much as well as your health———— I would call a lawyer and I bet they will have to refund your money—————— I am so sorry- I have been around people who won’t fix problems and it is maddening——–please let me know take photos of it all——— dates times- get a notebook and document it all- look for another place- don’t let them know that- you have EVERY right to live in a better place! Next time trust your instincts—— hugs and prayers for you and your child.margaret


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