My husband and I really love our three bedroom upper duplex, and we get it for a really great price. We’ve lived here for almost three years. We couldn’t imagine moving right now. The problem is that our bad landlord — the property management company that could not care less about anything that we contact them about. We have to call five-to-eight times to get anything fixed.
I can see on Google places that the landlord has terrible reviews, and terrible BBB reviews. But the other problem is that this is a huge company! They manage about a quarter of all the rental properties in my city, so I worry that if we handle this badly, we may lose a lot of housing opportunities.
What are your tips on dealing with landlords that just don’t care?
I would start by googling the “Tenants Bill of Rights” for your area. These usually contain details on your landlord’s obligations to you and specifics on your legal recourse if they are not met. If and when your landlord doesn’t respond to a maintenance request or other issue, email or fax them your Tenants Bill of Rights, and inform them that you will be withholding rent until the problem is resolved.
There’s also the slightly-less nuclear version, which is tell the landlord that if they don’t have time to deal with the problem, you can hire someone to do the repairs and then take the money out of the rent check (with bill attached). That usually only needs to happen once for them to get with the program.
Also, if you have to make multiple requests to fix a problem, make sure that you document the dates of the requests — this will help you if the landlord tries to deny that they were informed of the problem.
What are the ways YOU deal with a bad landlord?