At Friedman & Chapman, we understand that these disagreements are a common part of the tenant-landlord relationship. So, below we will go over the potential legal ramifications for you and the landlord and how to deal with them.
The main thing to keep in mind is that, as a tenant, you have the right to live in safe and sanitary conditions. Your home is a basic necessity, and you should not have to fear substandard conditions and how they could impact your family. Also, your contract and any other agreements made with your landlord need to be respected. If this is not the case, you have the right to sue and seek compensation.
Suppose you and your landlord have a disagreement or conflict due to the lack of maintenance, failure to respect the contract or agreement, or poor conditions of your home. In that case, you should always document the process in case the issues are not resolved and need to escalate to a legal dispute.
Here are some things you can do:
- Take notes: Make sure to write down everything you request from your landlord and the amount of time it takes for the problem to be addressed.
- Keep evidence: Save all the evidence. For example, messages, pictures, proof of any expense you could have had, and how any mediations could have been concluded.
- Review your lease contract: Review the terms of your lease so you know exactly what your landlord has committed to and understand where you need to go to solve the problem.
- Ask your landlord for a meeting: In this meeting, make sure to bring your lease agreement. Take the time to review it and see if everything stated on the contract is actually happening. This will make it easier to confirm if you can proceed legally.
- Reach out to a mediator: The Fair Housing Council offers tenant-landlord mediation in some counties. Contact them if you need help. They will give you the resources you need to navigate the problem you could be facing.
- Follow the mediator´s advice: If the mediator helps you settle the problem before respecting the estimated time it should take to be solved, if it does not, the next step will really help you.
- File a claim: If the mediation is unsuccessful or a conclusion can not be reached, you could have gotten this advice. It is important to file a claim in the Department of Fair Housing. They will have the resources that you need to make an investigation.
- Contact a Lawyer: Lawyers have a lot of experience in these cases, so they can help you understand your rights and options if you choose to proceed legally.