Your landlord is busy. He’s not always thrilled to get that call saying that the AC isn’t working or there’s a problem with the stove. It’s a lot of work to keep coming over and making repairs.
As a result, he usually lets things pile up for a while. It takes repeated calls before you finally get a response. It’s frustrating and you start to wonder if it’s best off to look for a new place to live.
The reality here is that, as frustrating as these little inconveniences may be, some issues can actually be dangerous. If the railing on the stairs breaks or the stove has a gas leak or the faulty wiring causes sparks, it could lead to an accident and serious injuries.
That’s why it’s so important to know how to get your landlord to act faster. Here are a few things you can try:
1. Write everything down and contact your landlord with a letter
This shows your landlord that you’re serious in a way that text messages never can. It also leaves a clear paper trail, something you don’t have if you just make the request in person. If your landlord still ignores you and you do get hurt, that paper trail may help you fight for all sorts of compensation, clearly establishing that it is the landlord’s fault that you had to live with these dangerous conditions and that you got hurt as a result.
2. Talk to people in the other apartments
If you have multiple apartments in your building, talk to the other people living there about any problems they have. Explain that some of the issues in your apartment — like a gas leak or electrical problem — could put them in danger, as well. Go to the landlord together or write multiple letters. When the landlord sees how many people are involved, they might move a bit more quickly on those repairs.
3. Threaten to stop paying
In some cases, you may be able to pay for the repairs and then pay less in rent to cover your personal costs. In other cases, you may just want to tell your landlord that you’re not going to pay the rent if they don’t make the repairs. Don’t do this lightly. It doesn’t hold up in all situations. However, if the conditions really put you in danger, you may be able to break your lease and move out. Telling the landlord that you’re leaving or that you won’t pay definitely will get their attention.
If your landlord never makes those repairs and you do wind up getting injured, find out what rights you have to financial compensation for medical bills, lost wages and more.