My Tenant Rights Have Been Violated! What Do I Do?

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When your tenant rights have been violated you may feel angry and helpless as to what you should do next. Luckily there are steps you can take to protect yourself and get some peace of mind. Rights violations may occur for a number of reasons, and can vary in severity. For instance, your landlord may break your lease, illegally enter your apartment or you may be a victim of housing discrimination. Different situations may call for different measures to be taken but the following steps will help serve as a general guideline for how you should proceed.

Step 1: Record the Incident

It’ll work toward your best interest if you keep detailed records. Write down the day and approximate times that the incident(s) occurred, who was responsible for the violation and a summary of what occurred. Also keep a log of any verbal conversations you have with your landlord and any other person who is involved in the dispute. Make copies of any letters or forms you write or receive and keep those on hand as well.

It’s also a good idea to write down exactly what kind of remediation you’re looking for, whether it’s a simple apology or whether you’re looking for solid proof that the situation won’t happen again in the future.

Step 2: Contact Your Landlord Verbally

It’s amazing how much can be resolved by having a simple conversation. Even if your landlord is the same person who violated your rights, he or she is the first person you should speak to. Make sure your landlord knows how your rights were violated and what your landlord can do to fix the situation. Avoid getting excessively angry, using profanities or anything else along these lines. More often than not, this will only make things worse.

Step 3: Contact Your Landlord in Writing

If nothing gets resolved during your verbal conversation with your landlord, write him or her a formal letter wherein you provide specific details about your complaint and how the situation can best be resolved to your satisfaction. Writing a letter lets your landlord know that you are serious about your complaint. Legally, such a letter will also help you in the future if the situation should escalate further.

Step 4: Seek Advice

Your best place to get information on your tenant rights is your local housing authority or legal aide office. Tenant laws can vary depending on the state in which you live. Housing professionals may suggest additional steps you take to try to remedy the situation. Most offices will also have brochures that contain helpful tips as well as forms you can use when dealing with your landlord. In most cases these services will be free of charge.

Contact an Attorney

If all else fails, you may have no other choice than to hire an attorney. Fees for hiring an attorney can be steep so you’ll need to weight out the risks and the benefits; however, in some situations this may be your only shot at fully protecting your tenant rights.

18 Responses to “My Tenant Rights Have Been Violated! What Do I Do?”

  1. November 08, 2012 at 11:32 pm, James said:

    I’m sorry but that didn’t tell me anything. Housing authority? Legal aid office? Where am I supposed to find these places and how am I supposed to convince them to help me.
    Not being able to afford a lawyer is the hole reason people feel helpless and why most landlords feel that they can get away with anything, especially in the case of low income housing where the landlords often have detailed financial and personal information on there tenants.
    I’m sorry but its extremely frustrating to read this article and be expected to believe that such a vague explanation would be of any use to someone who is truly helpless against a landlord taking advantage of them.
    If they can afford a lawyer than they can probably afford to just move. Also if the tenant is having substantial problems with a landlord than its probably beyond a verbal or written resolution.
    I’m sorry if this came off as harsh but there are people out there who need real help and real advice where examples and specifics are required.
    I understand that the laws change from place to place but I must believe that there is a better way to protect your self than that.

    Reply

    • October 23, 2016 at 1:51 pm, Samantha Robinson said:

      > they were accusations of me hitting a 8 yr old where i have video og the 6 yr old punching the girl in the face. I have conacted the Board of Education, Bus Driver, teach , principal and the superintent of transportation because the landlord says theirs nothing she can do it isnt happening on the property. The bus stop isnt on the property she says. The police were called n have a written statement i did not hit the girl. I got served with a intent to evict. After the police left the next day she went to every tenant she knew and asked questions about the incident. For 2 days she not once came to to me and asked me anything and knew i had a video showing the whole incident that took place. After showing the video she said she fax everything that she had seen on the video to her superintentant. She said her boss was waiting in what happened in court. So he the magistrate seen the video m seen i didnt hit the girl so the other tenant said the landlord n other people would come in n say i hit that firl when theu were only one witness besides me the kids n other adult that the lamdlord went behind the cops n asked her she said the cops had her statement. So what do i do i never hit the little girl the magistrate oppinted our daughter garurdian itlem over our kids and continued court because she said she had a lawyer n and the landlord statements against my daughter who the one had been tormented by her daughter her clothes toren off n beat on the bus everydat why am i the only one getting served with intent ro evict i have went to everyone i know seeking help before all this accusations on me?

      Reply

  2. September 22, 2016 at 5:45 am, helen Clark an Audrey palmer said:

    Yes I'm having problems with my landlord first he's telling me I can not have company I can only be outside for 15 mins to the apartments are bed bugs bad the place has lots of drugsneedles every wherean I want to sue for declaration of character

    Reply

  3. October 16, 2016 at 3:17 pm, Sanchez Ulises Gerardo said:

    I have rats fleas and water likings all over a call the land Lord it lives on property and he toll me is nothing that he can do and is better for me too move out because he got mad at me for saying something soon I got a daughter 14 years old I pay the rent 400 a month 200 the first and 200 the 20 of every month I have been late 2 days only and he went off of me so he wants me out by the 20 even if I pay rent I never sing a contract or less so he said he don't care that he will get me out by force I have planning witness and video evidence of he's abuse who can help me I'm scared for me and my daughter help me please

    Reply

  4. October 25, 2016 at 1:59 am, Anita Speller said:

    I agree because I'm disabled and I was taken advantage of I'm not going to stop until I get Justice

    Reply

    • January 14, 2017 at 6:36 am, Toby Barden said:

      > I was scammed into selling my land after a fire burned down my home of 30 years. Buyer promised me a forever home in a great house. He turned around and sold my land for 10 the amount he paid me. Turned out this great house I moved into had no heat, no water and was falling apart. He was to deduct from rent work I had done, he didn't he still asked for full rent. He had electric turned off in August and I stopped paying rent. I'm disabled and he had me evicted. Now I'm broke and soon will be homeless. What can I do?

      Reply

  5. October 25, 2016 at 2:10 am, Anita Speller said:

    I need a good Lawyer and do the right thing by me I did everything right as I was told by a few lawyers I'm disabled I sent 2 certified letters 60 days code enforcer came gave them 7 days to clean up the mold infested bathroom I lived in for 3 years pay my rent on time we had to drop box they got me two times saying my rent was late I have all my paperwork all my receipts from my rent Stubbs tell lawyer that I talk to told me to just leave because of my health issues have arthritis all over my body I have spinal stenosis and I was getting sick from since I moved in the first month I went to my doctor she said I have mold infection and I kept getting it so I lived in my living room for 3 years talk to them no more time they are slumlords they didn't care so I just moved out I just had to take my clothes I had to leave my dad's my beautiful kitchen set because I had no one to move my furniture my apartment stay clean I have an 8 7 days a week 8 hours a day I want Justice because the system for landlord tenant just gets away with anything they want to get away with they just don't care but I know someone out there because I believe God won't work this one out thanks for listening if it's any help anybody out there that cares

    Reply

  6. October 25, 2016 at 2:19 am, Anita Speller said:

    Thank You

    Reply

  7. November 12, 2016 at 9:13 pm, Small said:

    I have been trying to get help for a long time now ! Infestation of mice and roaches you name it we have and i have two kids a teenager and a 8 year old

    Reply

  8. November 15, 2016 at 11:18 am, Tammy Lynn Bell said:

    I have a problem with my landlord I lived at my house 11months. When I first moved in I had to clean then I put new grass in and I keep this place very clean all my babies tell me I'm the best renter he's ever had …. First of all he said he was going to build me a shed so I can store some things in there well I put my stuff in there containing wedding dresses that I was going to open my own shop with so when it rain Ed I didn't think anything of it leaking so a month passed by and I looked in there and seen he didn't put the proper roof down all my dresses for wet mold … 4800 dollars just in dresses. So I told him about it and he said that's not my problem what do I do

    Reply

  9. November 30, 2016 at 8:32 pm, Vanessa DREHER said:

    I'm being threatened from hI'm ANDI have a police report against the people upstairs and the girl upstairs is on parole we had a little dispute in September and my landlord is refusing to accept my rent threaten to put me out I'm paid up on my rent any only $1,000 and security deposit I refuse to sign a neutral agreement to get me away from here the mother is not even on the least we tried to kill me I'm so afraid for my life I'm really really scared please help me he knows we having a problem then people's OFF STREET come back to where I live and do drugs and be having sex please please please make him sign the neutral agreement(MY TRANSFER TO MOVE ALL HE CARES ABOUT IS THE 705.00$SECTION 8 GIVES HIM FOR HE CARES NOTHING ABOUT MY LIFE PLEASE SAFE ME

    Reply

  10. November 30, 2016 at 10:26 pm, Charlene said:

    Im section 8 tenant and i report to my present landlord there illegal activites going on in my apt unit. Instead of calling police they using retailation against me and refusing to fix my repairs. That they threating to put me out over $56.00 .Claiming I secertly I owe them. After the fact I pay them my portion of rent $210.00 that was on my voucher. I had to call Section 8 over 3tx or more until i got this resolve. Finally i have. Seriously elecrrical problem in my apt. This was. notice by cable tech installer. I let my landlord know about this incident. The result was I had to pay 10.00 each to replace electrical outlet over $160. To this day they are not fix. And i just move in this past Oct. So it's not my fault im dealing with alot of repairs. Yes I contact section 8 inspector. No return call yet!!!

    Reply

  11. December 07, 2016 at 12:15 am, travis said:

    is it illegal for my landlord to tell me to remove items in the bed of my truck? is it also legal for my landlord to text and call me to close a window because he feels it let's out to much heat? is it legal for the property i rent to have a heaters thermostat in a different unit that I can not adjust?

    Reply

  12. December 07, 2016 at 5:14 pm, Gladys Sizemore said:

    My sister n law rents a house from Tex Murphy their heat does not work they have talked to him about fixing it he refused to fix it then they suggested them fixing it and him taking it off the rent he says NO and if they don't pay their rent he will put them out what can they do they have a kid living at home

    Reply

  13. December 10, 2016 at 3:28 pm, Anita Speller said:

    I did all of above thanks for sharing GOD BLESS YOU

    Reply

  14. December 17, 2016 at 6:22 pm, Brandon suter said:

    Also my Self am disabled.been telling the landlord. To fix th dihwasher said notho my was wrong with it there for ran it whe n asleep woke up ran to door to answer it an hit my wrist backwards and broke it .now conman S ence thi man should be responsible for hospital bills .. Right

    Reply

  15. January 20, 2017 at 12:06 am, Malehloa Khabo said:

    We did not have agreement on rules and regulations with my land lord.after few months is then that she's verbally stating her rules of which she keeps adding one rule on onother.how do I handle these because we did not sign up for anything?

    Reply

  16. February 01, 2017 at 10:12 pm, Connie ramos said:

    Is it possible for owner to have cameras and watch who comes. In to app. That possible for him to do and he says i cant have visitors for the next 60 days

    Reply

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