When you’re renting an apartment, so many things can go wrong and contribute to a bad experience. Mismanagement is a common complaint among apartment dwellers.
Your landlord may be negligent or the property may be managed by a bad property management company.
Landlord problems can make you feel like moving out right away. But if you like your apartment and feel the issues can be resolved, don’t move out.
First, send your landlord a notice.
You must send a written notice to your landlord or property manager explaining the problem. After you do that, give them time to address the problem.
The average timeframe is up to 45 days, but check with the local authority before proceeding. You must present both the written notice and repair timeframe before filing any complaint.
Having landlord problems and wondering who to call? Here are the offices to call.
Mold exposure can cause health problems in some people. Breathing mold can cause allergic and respiratory symptoms, so a landlord needs to act fast.
Know the warning signs of mold growth and notify your landlord immediately.
If the apartment has a mold and moisture problem and your landlord fails to correct it, file a complaint with the Department of Agriculture Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP). Simply call or email.
Lead paint can be dangerous to both children and adults. Even small levels of exposure to lead paint can harm humans.
If the building you live in was built before 1978, lead could be present in the pipes, paint, or solder used on the pipes. If you notice chipping or peeling paint and your landlord fails to address the issue, it could become a housing code violation.
Most cities and states with explicit lead abatement laws have agencies that can inspect properties for lead. If hazards are found during the inspection, the landlord can be ordered to address them.
A mouse, rat, roach, bed bug, or other pests can spread disease, contaminate food, and ruin your property. The biggest risk they pose is the risk of disease.
Protect your home from pests and make sure that any infestation is dealt with quickly.
Each state has a unique system for pest management. To report your negligent landlord, visit your state’s Department of Health website or call their offices.
Lack of Vital Services
If you lack running water, electricity, or heating, call your landlord immediately and request emergency repairs. If these issues are not addressed promptly, report to the agency responsible.
Most laws about tenant and landlord rights are handled at the state level, so locate the agencies that handle complaints and file your complaint with the right agency.
Broken Plumbing Fixtures
Your landlord might make you pay for blocked drains, pipes, or toilets if they were spoiled because of your negligence. But you’re not responsible for normal wear and tear of plumbing fixtures.
Write all repair requests, and if the landlord fails to make the repairs, call the right agencies and report them. Report your landlord to your local building or housing agency as some problems might violate building or housing codes.
Call the responsible agency to know whether your problem violates local or state codes. The agency can take action against your landlord.
Structural issues in houses can be life-threatening or cause severe physical injury. For example, if a leaky roof causes a ceiling to collapse and your landlord fails to take action, you can contact the health department. The department can get violations at your rental property fixed quickly.
Where Do I Complain About a Private Landlord?
A private landlord isn’t a person who rents out their house in secret, it’s one who manages property management by themselves.
They don’t give the job to a property management company. Want to complain about a private landlord? Here’s where to complain.
Rental Protection Agency (RPA)
The RPA lets tenants lodge complaints against their landlords about poor conduct. You can file a complaint online, but you’re required to pay a fee to make an official complaint.
You can report different issues to the RPA:
- Housing code violations
- Unfair lease terms
- Security deposit issues
- Billing issues
- Unlawful entry or eviction
- Management problems
- Application denials
- Repair problems
Complain to HUD
If you live in a HUD property or subsidized housing, file your complaint with the HUD. Call (800) 685-8470 to get the help you need.
You can file a complaint about violations of rental/contractual agreements, unsafe living conditions, and poorly maintained facilities.
The Local Police
Threatening concerns and severe violations should be reported to the local police department. These may include direct threats and unlawful entries and evictions.
If you feel you are in danger, contact the local police department to report your landlord’s violation.
How to File an Online Complaint Against Landlord
To file an official complaint with your local government, do the following:
- Search online for “county/city of <<your city/county>> landlord complaint.” You can also use similar search phrases to find government websites or local agencies responsible for handling tenant complaints.
- Some counties and cities allow tenants to lodge complaints online while others do not. Some provide a phone number you can call and submit your complaint.
- If your city/county allows for complaints to be submitted online, go ahead and submit one.
How to Report a Landlord to the Health Department
If you’ve notified your landlord about health hazards and they haven’t taken any steps to fix the problems, file a complaint with your local health department. You can search by state or zip code to find contact information for your local health department.
Be sure to include the following information:
- Your full name
- The property address
- The name of the landlord or property management company
- The main complaint
- When the issue first began
- How long it has persisted or how often it occurs
- If the landlord is aware of the problem
- The landlord’s response
How to Report Landlord to Housing Authority
Call HUD’s complaint hotline—1-800-685-8470—to report your negligent landlord. You’ll have to give your address, explain the uninhabitable conditions, your landlord’s negligence, and how long the issue has persisted.
You may have to answer a few questions and also provide copies documenting the problem.
How to Report a House with Unsafe Living Conditions
Unsafe living conditions need to be reported to the property code enforcement team. They include gas leaks, hazardous mold, insufficient fire-blocking protection, exposed electrical wiring, an infestation of bedbugs or other pests, and rotting or deteriorating floors.
To report a house with unsafe living conditions, simply call HUD’s Multifamily Housing Complaint Line at (800) MULTI-70 (800) 685-8470) or TTY (800) 432-2209.